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Stephen Hawking says assisted suicide a possibility for him

Technically Incorrect: The astrophysicist says in an interview that he fears being a burden. However, he still hopes to unravel more about the universe before he goes.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Stephen Hawking still wants to conquer the universe. Last Week Tonight/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Stephen Hawking suffers neither pain, nor fools.

Why, he put up with John Oliver for quite some minutes before explaining to him just what an "idiot" he is.

As a scientist, though, he understands ultimate limitations. This is something he discusses at some length in an interview set to be broadcast by the BBC on June 15. It's with Dara O'Briain, who doubles as a comedian and as someone who studied theoretical physics.

It appears that in this interview Hawking reveals some personal information about a life that he describes as, at times, "very lonely."

The Telegraph got wind of a few quotes from the interview. It's one in which Hawking not only discusses some of the darker matters of life, but also his continued hopes.

He reportedly said: "I am damned if I'm going to die before I have unraveled more of the universe." Yes, Hawking still hopes he'll live long enough to, perhaps, win a little money back from those sneaky people who discovered the God Particle.

Hawking has become something of a world figure. But his loneliness stems, he said, from the fact that "people are afraid to talk to me or don't wait for me to write a response."

What a life it must be to have an active, brilliant mind, but not to be able to participate in the world in the same way as others do.

Hawking added: "I'm shy and tired at times. I find it difficult to talk to people I don't know."

Which brought him to the subject of death. He said: "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."

He continued: "To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity."

Many will have an opinion about this. I fancy no one, however, truly can predict one's decision if such a situation arose.

If only science could catch up quickly enough to eradicate problems such as the one from which Hawking suffers: motor neurone disease.

There's something a touch sad that we have the ability to play games on our phones and wear watches that show us texts, yet we're still behind in ending the suffering of human beings.