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Diane Pretty A terminally ill British woman who lost a legal battle to allow her husband to help
her commit suicide has died, her family have said.
Diane Pretty, who was in the advanced stages of motor neurone disease, died at a hospice near her
home on Saturday, aged 43.
The motheroftwo had begun experiencing breathing difficulties 10 days ago, three days after she
lost her righttodie court challenge in the European Court of Human Rights.
Her husband Brian said "I was with Diane most of the day and was about to come home when
I was stopped and told it was time.
"And then for Diane it was over, free at last."
He was "very proud" of her, Mr Pretty added.
His wife always said she wanted her husband to help her commit suicide because she feared the
choking and asphyxia often caused by her disease.
"Diane had to go through the one thing she had foreseen and was afraid of and there was
nothing I could do to help."
In an historic ruling last month, European judges dismissed Mrs Pretty's claim that the British courts
were contravening her human rights by refusing to allow her husband to help her commit suicide.
After it was announced, she told a news conference in London: "The law has taken all my rights
Rachel Hurst, director of Disability Awareness in Action, said it would be "very wrong for justice
to say in certain circumstances people can die".
"It would be a slippery slope and many people who did not want to die could be affected,"
Daniel James: A 23yearold who played rugby for England as a teenager has committed suicide
in a Swiss euthanasia clinic after having become paralysed from the chest down in a training
accident. Police are investigating.
Nuneaton rugby club hooker Daniel James felt his body had become a "prison" and lived in "fear
and loathing" of his daily life, his parents said last night, having accompanied him to Switzerland
from their home in Sinton Green, near Worcester. He had attempted to kill himself several times
since March 2007 when a scrum had collapsed on him and dislocated his neck vertebrae, trapping
his spinal cord and rendering him immediately tetraplegic.
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West Mercia Police have begun an investigation into his assisted suicide, which took place on
September 12. Details were made public yesterday when police published a statement relating to an
inquest in progress. Assisted suicide is illegal in the UK, and family or friends who help face up to 14
years in jail. Officers have questioned a man and a woman in the case and are preparing to submit a
report to the Crown Prosecution Service.…read more