To Live or Die - Whose Choice?; Terminally-Ill Motor Neurone Disease Sufferer Diane Pretty Has Lost the Latest Stage of Her Court Battle to Be Allowed to End Her Life. CHILDREN'S EXPRESS Reporters Orlaith Graham Wood, 13, Amanda McAteer, 14 and Stephanie McCann, 15 Look at the Emotive Subject of Euthanasia

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), December 28, 2001 | Go to article overview

To Live or Die - Whose Choice?; Terminally-Ill Motor Neurone Disease Sufferer Diane Pretty Has Lost the Latest Stage of Her Court Battle to Be Allowed to End Her Life. CHILDREN'S EXPRESS Reporters Orlaith Graham Wood, 13, Amanda McAteer, 14 and Stephanie McCann, 15 Look at the Emotive Subject of Euthanasia


Byline: Orlaith Graham Wood, Amanda McAtee and Stephanie McCann

After the High Court's ruling, despite not being able to speak to waiting reporters, Diane Pretty communicated that she felt "angry and disappointed" at the decision.

Amanda McAteer strongly supports the ruling of the court: "I don't think the law should be changed because life is a sacred thing.

"We were given this life - I think we should fulfil it. We've been given it to do good things," she said.

When pushed, though, Amanda admits she can relate to Mrs Pretty's desire not to go on with life, particularly because of the effect her condition must be having on her family.

"If I was paralysed and I couldn't talk to anybody, then I wouldn't want people to see me like that.

"I think it would be putting my family through more pain. If I could just go then they could remember me the way I was," Amanda said.

Sheena Hall holds equally mixed feelings. While she respects Mrs Pretty's individual right to do what she wants, she doesn't agree with euthanasia as a general rule. She said: "I think she has the right to die. But it's committing suicide. Whether she's suffering or not, I feel that she should be happy that she's got more time on this earth.

"If I was suffering from really bad cancer I wouldn't want to die - I'd want to stay here for as long as I can."

Mrs Pretty doesn't feel the same way. It is her steadfast belief she has the right to organise her own affairs.

Her decision comes back to the effect her drawn-out death is having on her and her family.

Stephanie McCann remembers her own father's feelings when he came close to death two years ago. She said: "My daddy was in hospital and he had tubes all over him.

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To Live or Die - Whose Choice?; Terminally-Ill Motor Neurone Disease Sufferer Diane Pretty Has Lost the Latest Stage of Her Court Battle to Be Allowed to End Her Life. CHILDREN'S EXPRESS Reporters Orlaith Graham Wood, 13, Amanda McAteer, 14 and Stephanie McCann, 15 Look at the Emotive Subject of Euthanasia
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