Professor Stephen Hawking, who once said he thought assisted dying was "a great mistake", has changed his stance to support the right of terminally ill people who are suffering to end their lives.
Hawking, 71, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease – a form of motor neurone disease – at the age of 21 and was told he had only two or three years to live.
He said in 2006 that, although people should have the right to end their life if they wanted to, "I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope."
But in an interview with the BBC, Hawking, a cosmologist and theoretical physicist, offered his unqualified support to those who feel their life is no longer tolerable.