Assisted suicide campaigner Dr Ann McPherson dies

Dr Ann McPherson, right, and Hugh Grant Dr McPherson supported the right of the terminally ill to die at a time of their choosing

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A prominent assisted suicide campaigner has died from pancreatic cancer.

Dr Ann McPherson, who died on Saturday aged 65, was an outspoken campaigner of the terminally ill's right to die at a time of their choosing.

The GP and mother-of-three was a patron of Dignity in Dying and founder of Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying (HPAD).

Actor Hugh Grant, who knew her through their ties to charity healthtalkonline, described the campaigner as "amazing".

She was medical director of the charity and he is a patron.

Speaking on behalf of her family, her daughter, Beth Hale, said her mother was "a truly wonderful wife, mum and granny".

She said: "Her ability, apparently so effortless, to combine her professional life with her family life should provide inspiration to working women everywhere.

"Her death leaves a huge gap in many lives and her husband, three children and five grandchildren, with one on the way, can only hope in some way to do justice to her formidable spirit."

And Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said everyone at the charity had been "saddened by Ann's death".

"In the two years since she became involved, Ann has done a huge amount for the campaign and she leaves an incredible legacy," she said.

Meanwhile, actor Grant, who accepted the British Medical Journal's Communicator of the Year Award on Dr McPherson's behalf earlier this month, said: "Ann was an amazing woman - doctor, author, campaigner and founder of the the inspired healthtalkonline.

"I am so delighted she nagged me into helping with it and I'm so sorry for her family, for medicine and for the country that she's gone."

The grandmother-of-five was a former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioner's Adolescent Task Group and a member of the last government's Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group.

She was born in London but lived and worked in Oxford for the last 35 years.

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