The Times, Health News
Published at 12:01AM, November 19 2015
One of Britain’s most loved broadcasters has said that he would rather kill himself than have to suffer in later life.
Sir David Attenborough defended the right to die and insisted that people who were terminally ill should be able to make their own decisions. “When you see poor people, poor in the sense of having some wretched disease, pleading for their lives to be brought to an end, it’s difficult to think that they don’t deserve that right today,” he said.
Sir David, 89, who was appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Costing the Earth programme, said that he would consider assisted dying if he was “compos mentis and really having a wretched life”.
Campaigners for voluntary euthanasia have welcomed his support.
Sarah Wootton, the chief executive of Dignity in Dying, said that his comments were “in line with the overwhelming majority of the British public who want to see a change in the law on assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent people”.
Sir David’s views are shared with Stephen Hawking, who has said that keeping someone alive against their will is “the ultimate indignity”. In June, Professor Hawking, 73, 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.”