Human Exceptionalism

Hawking Supports Treating People Like Animals

Stephen Hawking is a genius physicist. But knowledgeable about euthanasia and ethics?  Not so much.

Hawking has come out in favor of euthanasia. But his reasoning is sophomoric. From the Guardian story:

“We don’t let animals suffer, so why humans?”

I asked the same question of my mother when I was ten. She told me that we don’t kill people because they are human. People should be treated like people and animals, animals.

Beyond that, let’s look at why animals are euthanized–in addition to those times at the very end when there is nothing else to do–which is not the case with humans anywhere assisted suicide/euthanasia is legal: 

  • Because they are terminally ill and their care costs too much.
  • Because they are incontinent
  • Because they are disabled;
  • Because they are vicious;
  • Because they are unwanted;
  • Etc., etc.

But Hawkins has a point: As experiences in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and the USA shows, allowing the killing of humans for reasons of “suffering” does treat them as if they were animals.

You don’t have to be Ph.D to know the crucial difference between human medicine and veterinary. 

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