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Playing with aeroplanes


'I want to die on my bike or while playing tennis'
Lewis Wolpert Scientist
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I think about death quite a lot. The irony about death is that... I would like to die either on my bicycle — I love my bicycle — or playing tennis. I want a quick death; I don’t want a lingering death. I’m totally for euthanasia. I really think that we all have the absolute right to choose to die when we want to. It’s nobody else’s life and it’s my life and if I want to choose to die, I feel people should be allowed to help me die. What I don’t want is a long, lingering illness. I can’t see the point of that whatsoever.

Lewis Wolpert (1929-2021) CBE FRS FRSL was a developmental biologist, author, and broadcaster. He was educated at the University of Witwatersrand (BSc), Imperial College London, and at King's College London (PhD). He was Emeritus Professor of Biology as applied to medicine in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at University College London. In addition to his scientific and research publications, he wrote about his own experience of clinical depression in Malignant Sadness: The Anatomy of Depression (1999).

Listeners: Eleanor Lawrence

Eleanor Lawrence is a freelance science writer and editor, and co-author of Longman Dictionary of Environmental Science.

Tags: death, dying, euthanasia

Duration: 41 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2010

Date story went live: 14 June 2010