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Leading GP assisted suicide campaigner dies

By Christian Duffin

Dr Ann McPherson, a leading GP campaigner who championed patients' right to assisted death, has died of pancreatic cancer aged 65.

A GP in Oxford, Dr McPherson was the founder of the campaign group Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying, which lobbied for a change in the law, and a patron of Dignity in Dying.

She was also famous for her work as an author, having co-wrote the Teenage Health Freak series of books, guides to help young people with health issues. The series was hugely successful, selling over half a million copies in the UK, and were made into a television series.

In Pulse's recent Top 50 Most Influential GPs rankings, Dr McPherson was chosen by colleagues as number 22, and earlier this month she won the British Medical Journal's Communicator of the Year award, accepted on her behalf by her husband Klim McPherson and the actor Hugh Grant. Dr McPherson worked with Mr Grant to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer through the charity Healthtalkonline, which has a database of patient experiences covering over 40 different illnesses and health conditions.

One of Dr McPherson's daughters, Beth Hale, said in a statement on behalf of the family: 'Her ability, apparently so effortless, to combine her professional life with her family life should provide inspiration to working women everywhere.'

Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said: 'In the two years since she became involved, Ann has done a huge amount for the campaign and she leaves an incredible legacy.'

Dr Ann McPherson

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