Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hawking and the right to die.

I know it's a terrible taboo for a depressed person to talk about the right to die, but here goes. I believe everyone has a fundamental right to their own bodies, and to their own death.

Salon has a piece up today about Stephen Hawking's support for, and possible participation in, assisted suicide.

As Hawking says... keeping “someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity.”

There's another Hawking piece in The Guardian, which covers the same interview.

I know depressed people talking about assisted suicide is uncomfortable, since it's assumed we're just talking about suicide. But I'm not.

Assisted suicide involves "clear and settled intention," and is openly discussed. In its being transparent, assisted suicide is the complete opposite of suicide brought on by depression or mental illness. Suicide for the mentally ill is a shameful, hidden affair. Assisted suicide can be sought openly, and ideally, with the full support of loved ones and physicians.

I do think a person has the ultimate right to decide how much pain is too much, and whether or not they want to continue to engage with this world.

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