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News Link • Self-Help: Rational Living

We don’t let animals suffer says Prof Stephen Hawking as he backs assisted suicide

• Claire Duffin, The Telegraph

Prof Hawking, 71, who has motor neurone disease, said "We don't let animals suffer, so why humans?".

In an interview he said he believed those who helped loved ones die should escape prosecution if they were suffering from a terminal illness and in pain.

It is a criminal offence in the UK to encourage or assist someone to take their own life but guidance, issued by the Department of Public Prosecutions in 2010, makes it clear that friends or family members are unlikely to be prosecuted for assisting a loved one’s suicide.

However campaigners have called for greater clarity in the law.

Prof Hawking said: “I think those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain should have the right to chose to end their own life and those that help them should be free from prosecution."


1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Martin Birk
Entered on:

 One of the great minds of our time speaks on a subject near and dear to his heart. While I don't agree with some of his musings, this latest post on assisted suicide should not surprise anyone. My question is why this is still an issue in western society (secular humanist for the most part...), that not only condones the killing of the most innocent amongst us but has made this grevious practice a matter of public law? If we can accept this as a matter of personal choice or convenience, why not killing the disabled/old/sick people that have also burdened us? Oh... you say, this is different. These people will have a say in ending their own lives. The unborn do not. Oh really? Anybody who genuinely feels the need to kill themselves has always been free to do so. No body of law can adequately deal with all the different issues surrounding a person's unique situation. But to place this burden in the hands of another person, by law, is potentially very stupid and very dangerous. Oh yeah... there are some places where assisted suicide is already perfectly legal, albeit somewhat restricted by law. So... if you really... really... really want to kill yourself... go for it. Please don't drag the rest of us into your personal tragedy by seeking our approval. I rest my case.

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