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Sunday, 12 May, 2002, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK
Diane Pretty: Timeline
Diane Pretty
Diane Pretty appealed to several courts
Diane Pretty and her husband Brian have fought a long, and ultimately unsuccessful, legal battle to win the right for her to end her life in a manner of her own choosing. BBC News Online outlines the history of a controversial case.

November 1999: Diane Pretty is diagnosed with motor neurone disease, a degenerative condition which has left her completely dependant on her family.

The disease has no impact on her intellect, but within four months it confines her to a wheelchair.

June 2000: Mr Pretty writes to Tony Blair pleading for a change in the law. He says his wife wants him to help her end her life.

August 2001: Mrs Pretty asks to the Director of Public Prosecutions, David Calvert Smith QC to grant her husband immunity from prosecution should he help her to commit suicide.

The move receives the backing of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and civil rights group, Liberty.

The DPP acknowledges that Mrs Pretty and her family are experiencing "terrible suffering" - but he refuses to grant immunity.

August 31, 2001: A High Court Judge grants Mrs Pretty the right to challenge the DPP's decision through the courts. She claims it represents an infringement of her human rights.

Sitting in London, Mr Justice Silber says he wants the full hearing to be heard as soon as possible.

October 10, 2001: A two-day hearing begins at the High Court. Mrs Pretty attends.

October 18, 2001: Three High Court judges, headed by Lord Justice Tuckey, reject Mrs Pretty's appeal. They conclude that the UK is not ready to sanction the idea of assisted suicide.

November 14, 2001: Five Law Lords review the High Court ruling.

November 29, 2001: The Law Lords, headed by Lord Bingham, confirm the decision of the High Court.

Mrs Pretty announces that she will make one last appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

November 30, 2001: MPs sign an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for a change in the law.

March 19, 2002: A 90 minute hearing in the European Court in front of seven Human Rights judges.

Mr and Mrs Pretty travel by ambulance for 12 hours to attend.

April 29, 2002: Human Rights judges in Strasbourg rejected the appeal.

May 3, 2002: Mrs Pretty is admitted to a hospice. She develops a chest infection and breathing difficulties.

May 11, 2002: Diane Pretty dies at a hospice near her home.

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