THE LOCAL Wessex Group of Dignity in Dying had a well attended meeting on March 31 with the Winchester MP Mr Steve Brine visiting as a guest.

The organisation campaigns to change the law to allow a choice of an assisted death for the terminally ill and mentally competent.

Over one hundred signatures gathered at the Winchester Christmas market requesting him to come to a meeting, while several local people shared their stories of loved ones dying in pain and suffering because of the inadequacy of the current law. A topic of conversation was about the 300 suicides a year that occur with terminal illness, the one in 14 people who die without getting adequate pain relief, those that go to Dignitas to die and those that refuse to eat or drink to bring an end to their suffering.

Several doctors were present and one spoke explaining that the current level of medical treatment available meant that less and less people were dying as they did in the past. More deaths now occur slowly and with multiple conditions that mean that the level of palliative care available is not always enough to allow them the dignified death that they want.

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MP Steve Brine voted against the last Assisted Dying legislation – the Marris Bill - in 2015 and the Dignity in Dying group were keen to understand if his position had changed. It was pointed out that the main GP organisations were no longer against assisted dying and over 250m people worldwide have access to some form of assisted dying – with Scotland, Ireland and Jersey well on their way to allowing this choice.

After much discussion Mr Brine agreed he would support a further Parliamentary Debate although was not able to say whether his personal view had changed. He took away the research documents that should allow him to assess all the evidence that supports the view held by 84 per cent of the public, which is to allow an assisted dying law. To support a change in the Law, you can sign the petition at and join the local group at

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