Tags: stephen hawking | suicide | assisted | advocate

Stephen Hawking OK With Assisted Suicide Under Certain Circumstances

Image: Stephen Hawking OK With Assisted Suicide Under Certain Circumstances
(Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 02:38 PM

Stephen Hawking, the world renowned physicist who has long been a supporter of assisted suicide, said he would consider committing the act himself under certain circumstances.

Hawking, speaking with Irish TV host Dara Ó Briain for a new BBC program to air June 15, said Wednesday that if he became a burden and had nothing to contribute to the world, or if he was in great pain, he would consider assisted suicide, The Telegraph reported.

Hawking suffers from ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and he has lived longer than anyone else with the neurodegenerative disease, The Washington Post said.

Hawking, who uses a text-to-talk device that presents his speech with a computerized voice, shared with Ó Briain that he sometimes feels lonely because people don’t always talk to him easily, the Telegraph said.

He also said that forcing people to live against their wishes is the “ultimate indignity.” In other interviews over the past few years, he has consistently supported assisted suicide. In 2013, he told the Telegraph, “We don’t let animals suffer, so why humans?”

But Hawking said he believes there should be safeguards in place, making sure the individual wants to die. He told The Guardian that in 1985, he had pneumonia with complications and his wife at the time refused to take him off life support. He recovered and wrote his popular book, “A Brief History of Time.”

Although assisted suicide may be an option in the future, Hawking told Ó Briain, “I am damned if I’m going to die before I have unravelled more of the universe.”

Ó Briain is a comedian and also a theoretical physics graduate, according to U.K.’s Chortle publication, and meeting Hawking was on his bucket list.

“It’s a delight to watch Dara and Stephen’s friendship develop with honesty and insight - especially as Dara is fulfilling a childhood dream meeting his hero,” editor Craig Hunter told Chortle.



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Stephen Hawking, the world renowned physicist who has long been a supporter of assisted suicide, said he would consider committing the act himself under certain circumstances.
stephen hawking, suicide, assisted, advocate
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2015-38-04
Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 02:38 PM
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