LONDON, July 16 (UPI) -- Famed theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has pledged his support for a bill that would enable assisted suicide. The Assisted Dying Bill is currently being debated in British Parliament.
"[It is] wrong to despair and commit suicide, unless one is in great pain, but that is a matter of choice," said Hawking. "We should not take away the freedom of the individual to choose to die."
The bill, currently in the House of Lords, was introduced by Lord Falconers.
In an interview with BBC, Hawking said that laws prohibiting assisted suicide represent "discrimination against the disabled to deny them the right to kill themselves that able bodied people have."
Hawking agrees that strong protections would be needed to ensure that a patient's suicide is truly their will. The current bill would require confirmation by two doctors patient was terminally ill with less than six months to live.