When Jo was approached by the publisher Peter
Owen to discuss the idea of writing a book on assisted
dying she immediately thought that it must have been
done before. However no one had written at length in
book form on the subject since Peter Owen looked at
the issue in 1986. Jo was extremely busy with her full
time job as Campaigns and Press Manager at Dignity in
Dying so she enlisted the help of her friend and colleague,
Jo invited contributions for the book from experts
in the field and used her knowledge to write a chapter
on the history of assisted dying. Lesley interviewed
some of the families who have suffered under the current
law and wrote about their experiences.
Lesley was born in Oxford, the youngest of three
children. Her brother John developed motor neurone disease
and chose to end his life with help from Dignitas in May
2003. Lesley has spoken extensively on the subject of
assisted dying since John's death and was made a Patron
of Dignity in Dying in 2009. She has previously written
a book about a Yorkshire textile artist and published
an e-book about her brother's life in 2013.
As part of her undergraduate studies Jo cared
for a young woman with Huntington's disease and cancer.
Jo witnessed the woman suffering terrible pain, despite
the best palliative care, before she died. During her
time at Dignity in Dying - she joined the organisation
in 2006 - Jo has worked closely with families affected
by the same issues. She has vowed to challenge the present
law in memory of the young woman she cared for.