End of life choices?

End of life choices?

A free public event organised by Lapidus Scotland and members of the Glasgow Die-a-log group

Monday 29 April 2019, 7.00-9.30pm

Centre for Contemporary Arts 

350 Sauchiehall Street,
Glasgow G2 3JD 
United Kingdom

The issue of whether it is a human right to be able to choose to die with assistance and whether there should be a legal framework to enable this right to be exercised can generate strong and diverse views. In the UK, bills considered in the British and the Scottish Parliaments that would have legalised physician-assisted suicide have all been defeated. Although recent polls have suggested that the majority of people surveyed in Scotland support a change in the law to allow doctors to help terminally ill people to end their lives, there have not been many opportunities for this issue to be openly discussed by the general public without polarization. The aim of this event is to provide such an opportunity to examine the complexity of this difficult issue and consider a range of views both for and against the legalization of assisted dying.


Door opens at 6.40pm and event starts at 7pm.

Part 1 – Screening of two short films

Die-a-log   In March 2011, a small group of people in Glasgow came together to talk about death and dying. Since then, they have met for a couple of hours every few weeks. In this 20 minute film, three members of the group talk about their experience of these meetings. 

Recorded and edited between 2014 and 2018 by Shantiketu with help and advice from members of the Glasgow Die-a-log Group.

The Last Companion    A 32-minute long monologue based on the experience of a British national (Anna being her pseudonymn) who accompanied a stranger (Jill), another Briton, to go to Switzerland to die. Anna’s account focuses on the three days she spent with Jill in Basel, the practicalities subsequent to Jill’s death, her impression of Jill as a person, and her reflection on the experience. While Anna’s narrative gives a vivid picture of Jill’s physical appearance and character, it also offers viewers space to conjure up their own image of Jill and to postulate what might have gone through her mind during the last days of her life.

Cranworth Films, completed in 2019   
Pene Herman-Smith (Actor); Stuart Platt (Camera); Shantiketu (Sound); Lin Li (Director)

More information and excerpts

A short break after the screening

Part 2 – Panel discussion with audience participation

Chaired by Larry Butler of Lapidus Scotland.

The panel will represent a diversity of views both for and against the legalization of assisted dying in Scotland.

The speakers are:

Therese Campsie, counsellor and end of life doula; works with individuals in a hospice and for a charity therapeutically facilitating support groups for people with secondary breast cancer

Sheila Duffy, former journalist who now works as a professional genealogist; member of the Humanist Society of Scotland and of Friends at the End

Dermot Grenham, actuary and member of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics; previously lectured in demography at the London School of Economics

Joan Hemphill, Cancer Support Specialist at Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre, providing emotional, psychological and practical support to people facing life changing challenges 

Frederick Maitland, therapist and healer working in East Lothian, and has specialised for a number of years in hospice and bereavement work

The event will finish at 9.30pm and the audience will be invited to fill in a short anonymous feedback questionnaire before they leave.