104-year-old scientist ends life listening to 'Ode to Joy'

104yo David Goodall at home

The Australian scientist, who had traveled to Switzerland to end his life because euthanasia isn't legal in his homeland, answered questions about his well-publicized plans for an assisted suicide: Did he want to eat anything in particular for his last meal?

David Goodall, 104, travelled to Switzerland to take advantage of the nation's laws on assisted suicide. Ethicists at a leading Swiss medical association oppose assisted suicide for anyone besides people with terminal illnesses.

Although the reputed scientist was not terminally ill, he motivated his decision to opt for assisted suicide by citing his deteriorating quality of life, reports the BBC.

Speaking shortly before his death, Goodall expressed joy that he no longer wishes to continue with life.

(AAP) Prof. Goodall was an esteemed botanist and ecologist. His case caused controversy in Australia, with doctors in Perth at one point threatening to stop him flying to Switzerland.

He spoke to journalists at a hotel in Basel on Wednesday, saying he was happy to have the chance have his life "come to an end gracefully" in Switzerland but would have preferred to have it like that back home in Western Australia.

He spent his final full day exploring Basel University's botanic gardens with three of his grandchildren, who said they were proud of his bravery in the face of great public attention and were glad he would die on his own terms.




Philipp Nitschke, director of Exit International, said David Goodall was declared dead at 12:30 pm (11:30 GMT) on Thursday from an infusion of Nembutal, a barbiturate.

Goodall arranged a fast-track appointment with Life Circle clinic after telling them he "deeply regretted" living as long as he had. He wasn't legally permitted to end his life in Australia, where euthanasia is prohibited.

Goodall mentioned he expected that his narrative would contribute into the legalization of assisted dying in different nations.

In the end, Goodall said, he would like to be remembered "as an instrument of freeing the elderly" to choose their own death. "What's the use of that?" said the scientist, who appeared to have lost none of his sense of humor on Tuesday, wearing a top inscribed with the words "Aging Disgracefully".

"I could still enjoy birdsong", he added.

Goodall said he hoped his story would lead to the legalisation of assisted dying in other countries.

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