Stephen Hawking Endorses Assisted Suicide, Saying “We Don’t Let Animals Suffer,” Proving that Being a Genius in One Area Doesn’t Stop You From Saying Stupid Stuff Outside of That Area

World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who has lived with ALS, a progressive neuromotor condition, has endorsed assisted suicide in a recent BBC interview.

His comments below reveal that being a genius in a given field doesn’t guarantee brilliance or even a lack of stupidity outside of that field. His remarks show a lack of any kind of depth, insight or real thought about the subject.  Here’s a bit from the BBC interview:

UK cosmologist Prof Stephen Hawking has publicly said he backs the notion of assisted suicide for people with terminal illnesses.

In an interview with the BBC he said: “We don’t let animals suffer, so why humans?”

Prof Hawking, who has progressive motor neurone disease, has in the past been less candid about the idea, saying “while there’s life, there’s hope”.

But he stressed that there must be safeguards to prevent abuse.

Gee, “safeguards,” professor?  What would they be? How would they work?  Why just “terminal?” And while we’re at it, what’s your definition of “terminal?”

And about those animals….  Do you really think that chickens, cattle, etc. live comfortably in factory farming conditions?

Maybe you were just talking about pets.

Try reading this before you wax poetic about “suffering” and pets:

Let’s put this pet theory to sleep

Excerpt:

 

…the statistics on the euthanasia rates of animal rates in shelters paint a grim picture. The reasons owners abandon them there aren’t very pretty either:

* They are abandoned and unwanted. According to the American Humane Association, “56% of dogs and 71% of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized.”

* They have a personality or behaviour problem. (According to the SPCA, this is the single most common reason for euthanizing dogs accounting for as much as 60% of cases.)

* Their caregivers are no longer willing or no longer able to continue caring for them.

* They are considered to be unattractive.

* They have a treatable health condition but euthanasia is a cheaper alternative.

* They are getting old.

* They have physical traits considered to be undesirable for their breed.

* They have untreatable terminal diseases and are in pain.

In many cases, there is no single, clear reason.

The reality, Professor Hawking, is that you should be grateful you’re a human.  Most likely, if you were someone’s pet dog, they would have “put you out of “your misery” a long time ago, even if you didn’t feel particularly miserable.  But they’re the ones who get to tell everyone they saved you from “suffering.”

 

the statistics on the euthanasia rates of animal rates in shelters paint a grim picture. The reasons owners abandon them there aren’t very pretty either:

* They are abandoned and unwanted. According to the American Humane Association, “56% of dogs and 71% of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized.”

* They have a personality or behaviour problem. (According to the SPCA, this is the single most common reason for euthanizing dogs accounting for as much as 60% of cases.)

* Their caregivers are no longer willing or no longer able to continue caring for them.

* They are considered to be unattractive.

* They have a treatable health condition but euthanasia is a cheaper alternative.

* They are getting old.

* They have physical traits considered to be undesirable for their breed.

* They have untreatable terminal diseases and are in pain.

In many cases, there is no single, clear reason.

- See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/lets_put_this_pet_theory_to_sleep#sthash.iGZcP18q.dpuf

the statistics on the euthanasia rates of animal rates in shelters paint a grim picture. The reasons owners abandon them there aren’t very pretty either:

* They are abandoned and unwanted. According to the American Humane Association, “56% of dogs and 71% of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized.”

* They have a personality or behaviour problem. (According to the SPCA, this is the single most common reason for euthanizing dogs accounting for as much as 60% of cases.)

* Their caregivers are no longer willing or no longer able to continue caring for them.

* They are considered to be unattractive.

* They have a treatable health condition but euthanasia is a cheaper alternative.

* They are getting old.

* They have physical traits considered to be undesirable for their breed.

* They have untreatable terminal diseases and are in pain.

In many cases, there is no single, clear reason.

- See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/lets_put_this_pet_theory_to_sleep#sthash.iGZcP18q.dpuf

the statistics on the euthanasia rates of animal rates in shelters paint a grim picture. The reasons owners abandon them there aren’t very pretty either:

* They are abandoned and unwanted. According to the American Humane Association, “56% of dogs and 71% of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized.”

* They have a personality or behaviour problem. (According to the SPCA, this is the single most common reason for euthanizing dogs accounting for as much as 60% of cases.)

* Their caregivers are no longer willing or no longer able to continue caring for them.

* They are considered to be unattractive.

* They have a treatable health condition but euthanasia is a cheaper alternative.

* They are getting old.

* They have physical traits considered to be undesirable for their breed.

* They have untreatable terminal diseases and are in pain.

In many cases, there is no single, clear reason.

- See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/lets_put_this_pet_theory_to_sleep#sthash.iGZcP18q.dpuf

11 thoughts on “Stephen Hawking Endorses Assisted Suicide, Saying “We Don’t Let Animals Suffer,” Proving that Being a Genius in One Area Doesn’t Stop You From Saying Stupid Stuff Outside of That Area

  1. Yeah. the animals comparison is false and always has been. so are animals humans, or are humans animals? and notice that beforer you can comfortably kill, you must dehumanize. The interesting thing is that the reasons animals are dropped off in shelters are the same reasons humans are euthanized.

    • Since there are many variations of ALS; as it hits everyone differently, i have not heard of Professor Hawking’s having the “painful” ALS. With all of the books, manuscripts, sites i have read on Professr Hawking, I have not once heard of any pain he was into. Perhaps this has never been mentioned or …
      Question, is he living with this pain that gives him the “ok”, “right” to take on such a “Right to Die” comment?
      From Mr Collins

      • Stephen Hawking has a right to say whatever he pleases. And – especially when it comes to disability, assisted suicide and public policy – disability activists and advocates have a right to respond, After all, his rather ill-informed remarks (ex. “we don’t make animals suffer”), he’s already being used by the media and the pro-assisted suicide groups to try to render the opposition of disability activists, advocates and organizations irrelevant and invisible when it comes to the debate.

  2. I recently saw an article online about a new documentary
    about Stephen Hawking – what caught my eye was the heading about his first wife saying “No!” to the doctors’
    suggestion she turn off his machines when Hawking
    was quite ill in the hospital years ago. If my memory
    is correct, he said she’d “saved his life”.

    It would have been nice if Hawking had talked about
    people with severe disabling conditions, illnesses
    need good equipment from government and other
    aides/aids for us to have “a good quality of life”. I
    remember some decades back, he needed voice
    equipment/speech machine to speak his words
    (since his disability made his speech “different”
    from most people’s) and the government would not
    pay. He had to have donations made so he could
    have the technological equipment – and he was
    already a famous scientist.

    An unasked question that I’d bet comes to mind
    to a lot of people is: what about yourself, Dr.
    Hawking? Where do you put yourself? Are you
    the exception, in your scenario, of when to live
    and when to surrender the right to live? Who
    makes the choice?

  3. LaVada DelConte says:

    Until today, I have always thought that Stephen Hawking was a person that I could admire for all the things he has gone through being a disabled person. However, PROFESSOR: you do not know what it means to be a fan of assisted suicide. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ASSISTED SUICIDE IS EASILY AVAILABLE FOR ANY REASON!!!

    What would you do if a person close to you decided that your time has come to be dead? How would you be able to say NO! I WANT TO LIVE! LET ME DECIDE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!!!

    LaVada

  4. Compare the most famous person with ALS in the UK to the most famous person with ALS in Israel, Dr. Raḥamim Melamed Cohen, a vocal opponent of euthanasia and assisted suicide:

    http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/48960166.html

    http://www.brandlauncher.com/Business-GPS/Article/the-richest-man-in-Jerusalem

    http://www.torah.org/features/firstperson/mercyredefined.html

    Who is truly wise?

    And speaking of both Stephen Hawking and Israel in the same sentence, perhaps we are seeing a pattern here of this genius acting stupidly:

    http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/48949

  5. Yes! this comment about “not letting our animals suffer” never takes into account those pet owners who put their animals to sleep not so much out of their desire to limit the animal’s suffering but out of their desire to limit THEIR suffering, financial and emotional, that is the result of taking care of a sick animal that no longer brings then joy but heart-felt pain in watching the suffering.

    What about the recent story of the husband who shot his wife directly in the face because she was suffering and now he is claiming that he did it at her request to help her commit suicide. Madness!!! Evil under the mask of compassion.

    Steven Hawking must know that there will be no PROCEDURES that will effectively prevent abuse of assisted suicide laws for personal gain because such procedures would be costly for the State. We have to hope that he will rethink his statement in view of the fact that if assisted suicide is approved, the next step is passive euthanasia of the elderly and the disabled for the fiscal expediency of the state, and he knows from experience that he will be on that list. .

    If it is expedient to kill the elderly/disabled because it is faster and cheaper for government and the private insurers and a means to cutting end-of-life costs for the elderly on Medicare, and almost undiscoverable because there are NO PROCEDURAL protections against unilateral, covert and overt default misused DNR Code Status —-who will blow the whistle? .

  6. This is awesome, Stephen! I was under the impression that incontinence was a major motivator for euthanasia. I don’t see that on the list, is that considered a behavior problem?

    the pet analogy reveals – as advocates’ propaganda often does – that the real issue is people being uncomfortable with you and wanting to help you end your “suffering”.

    When our family dog of 13 years was put down when I was 21 (and nondisabled), it made total sense to me. She was having a difficult time getting up and I think she was incontinent. We thought she didn’t seem very happy. Now if she had been a human, she would have taken our behavior as evidence of feeling burdened by her, and she would’ve chosen assisted suicide because she felt, like 57% of Oregonians last year, “like a burden.”

    It seems that all that Thesi the dog really needed was to be loved and cared for, like humans in the same situation. Rather than seeing her stiffness and starting the countdown clock to her death, we could have loved her right through that experience. What a radical notion.

    We could have done things like keep her really warm and spend a lot of time with her. Like our disabled or elderly family members, that’s too much to ask of us and so we would rather kill them.

    • I think sometimes I talk about this particular issue a little too offhandedly or even callously. Sometimes people have no choice. Sherman Alexie, in his young people’s book “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” wrote one of the few passages that brought me to tears when I read it the first time and on subsequent readings. Alexie, in an interview, says the book is about 78% autobiographical. Part of the passage gets shared around online, but it’s cut to short and misses the full impact of the full text, IMO.

      Thanks for sharing that – looking back and actually looking hard enough to see it in a different light has got to be a difficult and painful exercise.

  7. […] Back in September of last year, Hawking did a 180 on his previously-held position against assisted suicide. C&C gushed over his fame as if the unified opposition of at least 15 advocacy groups for people with disabilities* meant nothing. I couldn’t remember who would have called him stupid, though (and had to figure it out myself, since they ever-so-helpfully provided no citation). After poking around the webs a bit, I concluded that they meant this piece by Stephen Drake of Not Dead Yet. […]

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