Alva de Chiro, 79, a former teacher from Chesterfield, is encouraging people across the county to join her in forming a new group in support of a campaign to allow terminally ill people to die with dignity. The group meets for the first time on Tuesday 14th March at the Market Hall in Chesterfield and anyone is welcome to attend.
Alva, along with a group of people across Derbyshire, is supporting Dignity in Dying in calling for assisted dying to be legalised so that terminally ill people are given choice and control over their death. The group is meeting for the first time on the 14th, where they will hear from a representative of Dignity in Dying, share their reasons for supporting the campaign and brainstorm ideas for campaigning in the local area.
The issue is a personal one for Alva, as she explained:
“My mother, Phyllis, who lived in Chesterfield all her life, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1991. On the day she died a few months later she was at home, supported by Macmillan nurses, but she regurgitated blood for hours – it was not peaceful.
“My husband Biagio came here from Italy in 1956 and worked for the local council and as an interpreter for the police. He was diagnosed with a thymoma in 2001 and died a few months later in a hospice, where he received wonderful care but died sitting upright and choking.
“They both asked for help to die, and both were mentally competent right to the end. That’s why I campaign for assisted dying – because choice and compassion should be allowed for people like my mother and husband, whose suffering has become too great.”
Dignity in Dying campaigns for a change in the law to allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults with less than six months to live to have the option of a safe, legal assisted death. There are 22 local groups around the country, covering around 100 constituencies across the UK. The largest ever poll on assisted dying found that 82% of the public were in support of a change in the law.
Fran Hall, Campaigner Support Officer at Dignity in Dying, said:
“We believe that everyone has the right to die with dignity and have choice and control at the end of life, but sadly this is not the case for terminally ill people in this country. If you agree that this is unacceptable, please join us and come along to our first local meeting on the 14th – anyone is welcome.”
When: Tuesday 14th March at 6pm
Where: Market Hall, Soresby St, Chesterfield S40 1AR
Contact: For more information or to RSVP please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor
For further information contact Ellie Ball, Media and Campaigns Officer at Dignity in Dying at email@example.com or 0207 479 7732.
Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.