Do you agree with Stephen Hawking on euthanasia? 180

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Assisted suicide is a very topical subject, however since Stephen Hawking joined the debate in 2013, whenever he’s shared his thoughts on it, the whole world has listened.

In a television interview with Dara O’Briain, Professor Hawking said he suffered bouts of loneliness because people were afraid to talk to him. When asked at what point he’d consider it for himself he replied, “To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity. I would consider assisted suicide only if I were in great pain or felt I had nothing more to contribute, but was just a burden to those around me.”

He also said, “I am damned if I’m going to die before I have unravelled more of the Universe.”

Way back in 2013 he said, “We don’t let animals suffer, so why humans?” and it actually had enough power to significantly change the minds of many people all over the world.

When asked what he misses about being able-bodied, he said, “I would like to be able to swim again. When my children were young, I missed not being able to play with them physically.” The 73 year old who suffers from motor neurone disease had gone through immense suffering under the public eye and the latest film about his condition gave us even more of an insight into just how great his suffering really has been.

Some people feel that his situation, and admirably he’s made the best of the cards life has dealt him, give him a particular level of authority to express opinions on the matter – and we agree.

So tell us today, do you agree with the views of Stephen Hawking on euthanasia? Is it something you’d consider if you were reduced to nothing but a burden on your loved ones?

Share your thoughts in the comments below and join the conversation… 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. It is his choice. You can put animals down I don’t see why it would be any different with people. It would have to be strictly governed though as it may be used as a way to get people’s money. I have found that a lot of people faced with death, don’t really want to die. They are always looking for some way to keep alive

  2. No I am sorry I don’t believe it life is precious. And gold will decide when he takes us.

    2 REPLY
    • Jenny, you have obviously not seen the suffering many people go through prior to death. If you had, you wouldn’t have this view. As you believe in a god, perhaps you could explain to me why children die, born deformed and with mental illness. Please explain that to me.

  3. Yes, I think it’s everyone’s right to decide when the wish to die with dignity. I’ve recently watched both my eldest and youngest sisters die from dreadful illness and no way to helpt themselves. We don’t let animals suffer like that!

    7 REPLY
    • Oh i totally agree,. Sorry for your loss Kath. If it was my sister and she wanted assistance i would be honoured to help her.

    • So sorry for your loss, I watched my eldest sister suffer too and was with her till the end, so sad. That was Six years ago and miss her every day. Could not imagine loosing two sisters that would be shocking. You poor thing.

    • I also have MND. I was diagnosed tentatively in 2001 and had the diagnosis confirmed in 2002. When my Neurologist and I looked back, we came to the conclusion that I have had this insidious disease since early 1980’s. Up until about 3 years ago, it was manifesting mainly in my fingers, hands and forearms. Both sides were effected, with more symptoms being in the right side. About three years ago, my symptoms began to recede and at this point that remains the status quo. I am taking Rilutek, which is the only drug available to people living with MND. This drug usually only slows down the progress of this condition. Would I wish to take my own life if I was becoming dependent on other people to do everything for me, if I had no dignity in life? I have always said I would; now I don’t know so much. I guess it is a matter of wait and see. The problem with this condition is that it is really cruel in your ends stage. Your muscles become wasted (see Stephen Hawking) to the point where you need to be strapped into your chair, you lose control of swallow reflex and must be fed by gastric tube sewn into the abdomen, and you gradually die from asphyxiation. Do I wish to go through that? Again, I can only say that I shall have to wait and see.

    • Oh Gayle. I am so sorry to hear that. Seems Macey genes not very strong on the health front. I am glad that the available medication is giving you some respite at present. I pray you always have control and choose to be here.

  4. You bet I would. I watched my father in law die over several years where he was kept alive because his wife was sure that god had promised her a miracle. There was nothing left except unending pain and no dignity at all. It was wrong. Once he started on morphine, they considered him to be incapable of decision making. He literally begged the doctors to stop forcibly treating him and to let him go but they were more afraid of her suing them than they were of his rights. When he did die, she swore in court that they had assisted him which was proven to be untrue. No one is doing that to me!

  5. Yes, and I don’t believe people who believe in a god have any right to believe another human should go on suffering or face an undignified frightening death.

    3 REPLY
    • I believe in God and that doesn’t stop me being all for putting an end to suffering when you’ve had enough. I agree it’s no one else’s business but your own as you are the one suffering it should be your choice.

    • I understand what people say about those that beleive in god, because they say it is his wish and he willl take them when he is ready.

    • I believe in God and euthanasia,people without compassion are the ones who don’t want people to have what should be a fundamental right.

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