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Our shared history with Dignity in Dying

Compassion in Dying was founded in 2008 by Dignity in Dying. We are proud to be sister organisations.

How we work

Together, we share an aim. To improve dying in the UK by putting people in charge of decisions about the end of their life. But we work in different ways.

Dignity in Dying campaigns to change the law to allow the option of assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults in the UK. They are a not-for-profit membership organisation.

Compassion in Dying is a registered charity. We want people to be in control of their end-of-life decisions because there is no one better to make them. While we support law change in principle, we do not campaign on assisted dying. You can read more about what we do.

We’re legally separate organisations with distinct governance, boards, and finances. Our Chief Executive, Sarah Wootton, leads both organisations. We share resources, including an office and some staff.

Compassion in Dying’s position on assisted dying

At Compassion in Dying we listen to dying people and those close to them, and are led by what they tell us. Many of the people we support say they would like the option of assisted dying. We also know that people who come to Compassion in Dying for information or support feel reassured by our link with Dignity in Dying.

That’s why we support law change for terminally ill, mentally competent adults – but we leave the campaigning up to Dignity in Dying.

When the people we support talk to us about assisted dying, we listen to them without judgement. We explore how they want to live the rest of their lives, and if they have any unmet needs or symptoms that could be better managed. We provide information and support on how they can ensure their wishes are met within the current law.

While we support law change in principle, we are clear that we cannot help people access an assisted death overseas or in this country. But we can tell people what the law says about it.

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