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‘Why I Campaign’ #1 – Patrick Callaghan.

I joined Dignity in Dying because I feel it is now necessary to modernise – now necessary that the walls surrounding this taboo and others like it are brought down. It should be deemed commonplace to talk about death as well as to be given fair access to information about all options that are currently available at the end of life. Only then will the law change and rights be extended to include the option of an assisted death.

Dignity in Dying has spent time encouraging members of the public to talk about why they support our campaign – to openly and unashamedly tell their family and friends they support a change in the law and to share those opinions with their MPs. I joined as Dignity in Dying’s Campaigns and Social Media Trainee to engage supporters, stakeholders, and members of the public in a conversation about the end of life and the issues that frame it. I believe that the political climate has never been so open to a discussion on this topic than it is now and it has, in some part, been the evolution of social media that has been instrumental in unlocking this door.

I did not join Dignity in Dying because I have had a personal experience that inspired me to campaign; I do not support Dignity in Dying because I profess to understand death. I support Dignity in Dying because of a belief that I hold: that no-one should be made to suffer if it is not their wish to do so in the last days, weeks, or months of their lives. It is evident to me that I would not wish a reality that denies compassion and choice to anyone who is dying. It is also evident to me that I would not wish that end on myself. Talking is the first step; a change in the law will then inevitably follow in tow.

In this new series of blogs entitled “Why I Campaign” I hope supporters and members of the public share their personal reasons for supporting Dignity in Dying. Publicly sharing your experiences, beliefs or opinions will forward our campaign, and foster a society that no longer feels that we cannot talk about death or assisted dying.

Tell us why you campaign, send your contribution using the email subject ‘Why I Campaign blog’ to in no more than 400 words including a picture. Blogs may appear edited. Authors of published blogs will be notified before publication.