Board Members

Sir Graeme Catto – Chair

Sir Graeme Catto BoardSir Graeme holds the position of Chair of Dignity in Dying and is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Aberdeen and President of the College of Medicine. He was formerly the President of the General Medical Council and was a member of the Falconer Commission on Assisted Dying. Upon the report of the Commission Sir Graeme joined Dignity in Dying, he says:

Evaluating the evidence presented to the Commission on Assisted Dying convinced me that the law in this country should be changed in line with both the Commission’s report and the aims of Dignity in Dying. While any change in the law is a matter for the Parliaments to determine, I look forward to leading Dignity in Dying in informing the necessary public debate.

 

 

 

Dr Philip Graham – Vice Chair

Dr Philip Graham BoardPhilip spent most of his working life as a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, and as an academic carrying out research at its associated medical school. As a junior doctor he saw end of life issues managed compassionately with the use of heavy sedation – the so-called Brompton cocktail. Since that time Philip feels it has become much more difficult for doctors, in consultation with patients themselves and with family members to assist in achieving an ‘easeful death’ for those who wish it. Since retirement, Philip has worked on a largely voluntary basis for example, as Chairman of the National Children’s Bureau, as a Community Governor of a secondary school in a deprived area of London and as a volunteer reader in a local primary school.

Declaration of interests: none

 

 

 

 

Rob Hayward OBE – Treasurer

Rob Hayward Board MemberRob is a former Member of Parliament and brings a wealth of parliamentary and campaigning experience to Dignity in Dying, having been Chief Executive of the Beer and Pub Association and a board member of Stonewall. Rob is now an advisor to the Conservative Party.

Declaration of interests: none

 

 

 

 

Michael Daly

Michael-daly-boardUntil recently, Michael was a volunteer with the Bereavement Service of a cancer hospice in Oxford and was a trustee of the Oxford International Centre for Palliative Care. His experiences of palliative care have reinforced his belief in the importance of extending end-of-life care and choice to everyone. Although qualified as a barrister, Michael’s professional background is in education, teaching law to undergraduates and postgraduate students seeking to qualify as lawyers.

Declaration of interests: none

 

 

 

 

 Alice Leonard

Alice Leonard Board MemberAlice is a lawyer. For 21 years she was Head of the Strategic Legal Division of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), where she led on a number of judicial reviews. During her time there she secured protections for one million part-time workers, stopped the Armed Forces sacking pregnant women and led on investigations which forced the Royal Mail and the Prison Service to take action against sexual harassment. Alice has experience in challenging the law – and changing it. She feels the movement to legalise assisted dying for terminally ill people is one of the great campaigns of the 21st century stating:

Personal choice over one’s life is an essential human freedom.

Declaration of interests: none

 

 

 

Dr Richard Scheffer

Dr Richard Scheffer Board MemberRichard read social science, qualified as a social worker and taught at a university in South Africa before reading medicine at the University of Cape Town. He was a consultant in palliative medicine and medical director of a hospice in the UK for 20 years until his retirement in 2007. He served as chairman of a regional Palliative Care Network and represented his area on the National Council of Palliative Care for a number of years. He was a member of the working group for the development of the Department of Health End-of-Life-Care strategy.

He has always had an interest in the promotion of palliative care in developing countries, especially in Africa, and has served on the UK Forum for Hospice and Palliative Care Worldwide, set up by Help the Hospices, and chaired the Advocacy Committee. He would like to see high quality palliative care available for all at the end of life as well as assisted dying being legally available for those who choose it.

                                               Declaration of interests: Trustee of Compassion in Dying

 

 

Dame Jill Macleod Clark

Dame Jill Macleod Clark Board MemeberJill has been a Professor of Nursing at Kings College London and University of Southampton since 1991. She has published over twenty books on nursing, health and the care of older people and in 2001 was made Dame Commander of the British Empire. She headed up a multi-professional Health Faculty and acted as Chair of the Council of Deans of Health – a national lobbying organisation.

Jill said that her professional experience had heavily influenced her belief that giving individuals the option of choice around assisted death is urgently required.

Declaration of interests: none

 

 

 

 

Philip Hartropp

Philip Hartropp Board MemberBefore his retirement, Philip spent over 30 years as a full-time GP working near Peterborough. In 1999 to forward his interest in end-of-life care he undertook a Postgraduate Diploma in Palliative Medicine, and then, from 2001-2008, was the Cancer and Palliative Care Lead for a primary Care Trust (PCT).

Philip described his experience of working in end-of-life care as “one of the most satisfying aspects of my job, caring for patients and their families, through their final days of illness”.

Declaration of interests: none

 

 

 

Paul Rossi

Paul Rossi Board MemberPaul is a former chief executive of Help the Hospices and deputy chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support. He has been leading not-for-profit organisations at chief executive and deputy level for more than 25 years, and is currently chief executive of the National Benevolent Institution. He has a wide range of experience as a political campaigner and has spent time as a member of various governing body boards.

Paul believes passionately that the law should change to allow assisted dying:

the current law that legitimises suicide, but which puts at risk those who assist a fully compos mentis patient from exercising that right is untenable and absurd

Declaration of interests: none

 

 

 

Claire Hudson

Claire Hudson Board MemberClaire is a local government councillor from Frome in Somerset. She has a great deal of experience of political campaigning and working within the political arena.

Claire is currently Chair of the National Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and sits on the Local Government Association’s Resources Board. She is Chair of Governors at a special educational needs school in her home town.

Declaration of interests: none

 

 

 

Cameron Brown

Cameron Brown Dignity in Dying BoardCameron Brown is a publisher and was previously a merchant banker and director of a number of private and public companies. On becoming a Dignity in Dying Board Member Cameron said:

I have supported the aims of Dignity in Dying all my adult life and am happy to be in a position now to offer the campaign my commercial and business experience as well as my time and energy to help see through a change in the law

Declaration of interests: none

 

 

 

DR Graham Winyard CBE

Graham Winyard Dignity in DyingGraham retired in 2007 from a career spent in senior posts in the NHS and Department of Health, including 6 years as Medical Director of the NHS in England. His commitment to changing the law on assisted dying stems from his experience caring for his first wife, Sandy, for the 2 years between diagnosis and her death from cancer in 2002. This confirmed in a very personal way how, even with the best palliative care, there can come a time when a dying person has simply had enough, and should legally be able to seek an end to life.

A member of the Steering Group of Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying since its establishment, he is currently studying for an MA in Religions at SOAS and is the joint lay treasurer of Chithurst Buddhist Monastery in West Sussex. On becoming a Dignity in Dying Board Member Graham said:

I believe passionately that we need to challenge the current received wisdom that good palliative care has all the answers and that changes in the law should be judged in terms of the ‘risks to the vulnerable’ that they create. The reality is that every day hundreds of people are dying in a way that they find intolerable. This actual suffering, not hypothetical risk, is what has to be addressed by our lawmakers.

Declaration of interests: none

 

Niccola Swan

Niccola has recently retired as the director at Leeds Mind but continues to have a number of voluntary mental health roles, as well as being a governor of an NHS trust and a director of Healthwatch Leeds. She has wide experience as a charity trustee. She was deputy chief executive of the Employers’ Forum on Disability for two and a half years.

Previously she worked for Barclays PLC for 25 years, ending her career there in 2005 as Regional Director for the North East and also having been Diversity Director for the Barclays Group globally. She was a board member of Dignity in Dying from 2008 to 2011.

Declaration of interests: none