Stephen Hawking says the terminally ill who are in great pain should be allowed to have their lives ended so long as there are precautions in place to ensure that they truly want to die. Per the article:


Physicist Stephen Hawking says he thinks terminally ill patients should have access to assisted suicide, as long as there are checks to prevent abuse. "I think those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain should have the right to choose to end their lives, and those who help them should be free from prosecution," Hawking told the BBC.

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Physician-assisted suicide has been available in Oregon for a number of years now ... and fact is, I barely hear a darn thing about it, which tends to at least suggest to me that it's working.  Personally, I'd have to be in damned dire straits to consider pulling my own plug, but having that option I think is within our rights as human beings.

And that's my $0.02 on the matter.

euthanasia is legal in some places

Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembour has legalized it and in a few places in USA Washington, Oregon, Vermont and Montana.

but it has to be watched closely, I would personally like this option if I thought I would be a vegetable just laying there with eyes open not able to take care of myself...quality of life is so important to me

It works here, and the discussions are still going on to determine what to do, what not to do and how to help.

Yes Chris I hope the discussion widens across each nation people need this so much, especially with people living longer doesn't mean they are living healthier, so many are in pain with no where to turn

Absolutely, a person should be able to be assisted in suicide, especially if uncontrollable pain is involved. I also believe that if a quality of life has deteriorated to such an extent that the end of life is preferable, the person should have that right.

If not legally available, what are the alternatives, overdose of pills which may not do the job, a knife or a gun which leaves behind a mess for others to clean up? These options sound cruel to me and a peaceful, planned death makes far more sense and is more humane. 

If a person has lived a rich, full, compassionate, caring life and is no longer able to read or hear or taste food, then the person should be able to make a decision and have medical assistance to complete the act. 

There is absolutely nothing to fear in death. The electrical current goes off and all parts of the body, mind, and consciousness end. That is all.  

I think even if they haven't lead a rich, full, compassionate life they should  still have the option, we have to be careful determining the standards, but I do understand what you mean Joan, Its terrible to see some one who has taken a overdose or attempted a failed suicide, especially for the loved one who may find them  

My father ended his life that way.  I think the mother of my supervisor at a job, also ended her life that way.  I don't remember if he said she was terminally ill.  It seems to be rather common. 

Glad to hear Hawking endorse it.  They hardly listen to us peons, but the big names have some weight.

Another point in favor of this is something I've heard from terminally ill people with a great deal of pain.  Having the pills there to do it, or whatever method you prefer, improves your stress levels and general outlook on life, knowing that it's there for you, whenever you can't deal with it anymore ... it makes you happier and less likely to decide to kill yourself, by some other more drastic, less reliable means.

You have a very good point about "being happier" because they know its there for them and may be less likely to use it

I agree.  That's the way I would respond.

This is truly a humanitarian expectation but the real problem is about the checks and balances. It is difficult to conceive and implement them. This practice could have been there if there was no murder. However, Jain religion permits a practice called 'santhara'. If a Jain person decides and declares his intention to do so , his religion permits him to completely renounce food and allows him a slow death. Euthanasia is not permitted in India but the law does not interfere with this religious practice. Right now, one old person is practicing this.


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