Summary: Stephen Hawking, the famous cosmologist with ALS (a motor neuron disorder), spoke in favor of assisted suicide. He believes as long as there are safeguards to ensure that death is the patient’s wish, people should not be forced to suffer. “We don’t let animals suffer, so why humans?” he says. Hawking was once put on life support which is wife chose not to switch off. He adjusted to his ALS (only 5% that can survive with it) and communicates by using cheek muscles to control a voice synthesizing computer program. Currently, assisted suicide is illegal and can result up to 14 years in prison; it is legal in Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, and Oregon (USA).
1. Should physician assisted suicide be legal?
2. What should those “safeguards” be to ensure the patient is in the right state of mind while making the decision and was not coerced?
3. What will change now that a famous scientist has backed assisted suicide?
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