JUN 04, 2015 1:23 PM PDT

Stephen Hawking Would Consider Assisted Suicide if He Could No Longer Contribute to Science

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Famous physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has told BBC in an interview that if he had one day become a burden to everyone around him and no longer had anything useful to contribute to the world of science, he would consider assisted suicide.



Hawking, a long time supporter of the legalization of assisted suicide, was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease at the age of 21 and has been stuck in a wheelchair for most of his life.

Hawking, now 73 years of age, says that despite considering assisted suicide, he still feels he needs to discover more secrets about the universe before his day comes.

"To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity," said Hawking in an interview. "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."

Hawking doesn't see that day coming around any time soon. In fact, Hawking is confident that there is still plenty more to discover before his time comes, "I am damned if I'm going to die before I have unraveled more of the universe."

Hawking refers to depression as a large part of his reasoning; he notes that his condition leaves him with difficulties communicating and that people are often afraid to confront him and speak to him, which further hinders his collaboration among peers in the scientific community.

"At times I get very lonely because people are afraid to talk to me or don't wait for me to write a response," Hawking said. "I'm shy and tired at times. I find it difficult to talk to people I don't know."

At and earlier point in time, when Hawking underwent a tracheostomy procedure, emotions got the best of him and Hawking attempted to end his life by self-asphyxiation, but failed.

"I briefly tried to commit suicide by not breathing," Hawking continued, "However, the reflex to breathe was too strong."

The entire interview will be available via BBC on June 16th.

Source: The Guardian

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 27, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Optical Imaging in Tissue with Near-Infrared Dyes
SEP 27, 2021
Optical Imaging in Tissue with Near-Infrared Dyes
Optical Imaging in Tissue with Near-Infrared Dyes Written By Christopher Pratt, PhD   Go Long to See Deeper Imaging ...
OCT 04, 2021
Neuroscience
People Prefer Deeper Conversations Over Small Talk with Strangers
OCT 04, 2021
People Prefer Deeper Conversations Over Small Talk with Strangers
Strangers may be more interested in having deeper conversations with you than you think. The corresponding research was ...
OCT 12, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Tiny Fragments of RNA in the Blood Signal Dementia Risk
OCT 12, 2021
Tiny Fragments of RNA in the Blood Signal Dementia Risk
Scientists have discovered a novel biomarker in the blood that acts as an early warning sign for dementia: microRNA. The ...
OCT 12, 2021
Health & Medicine
A New Way of Administering Deep Brain Stimulation May Increase Therapeutic Effect Duration in Parkinson's Disease
OCT 12, 2021
A New Way of Administering Deep Brain Stimulation May Increase Therapeutic Effect Duration in Parkinson's Disease
  Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a specific type of neurological disorder that can significantly impact a p ...
OCT 15, 2021
Health & Medicine
Anti-seizure properties found in the Cannabinoid CBGA
OCT 15, 2021
Anti-seizure properties found in the Cannabinoid CBGA
A growing body of research suggests cannabis’s effectiveness in minimizing seizure activity, but a recent study hi ...
OCT 25, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
How Fat Cells May Influence Cognitive Decline
OCT 25, 2021
How Fat Cells May Influence Cognitive Decline
Some research has indicated that a Western diet, which is high in processed foods, sugars, and fats, may be contributing ...
Loading Comments...