Scientist wants to end his own life because he's 104

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A 104-year-old Australian scientist who travelled to Switzerland to end his life has said he is not without regrets but it "happy" to have the chance to end his life on Thursday. What is sad is if one is prevented.

In most countries, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are illegal.

A long-time member of Philip Nitschke's Exit International organisation, Dr Goodall was able to find support for his request for assisted suicide overseas.

"Lifecircle is committed to the dignity of mankind as well as to self-determination in hard circumstances and at the end of life", the association's website reads.

"My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights, including the right of assisted suicide", the 104-year-old man added.

He said he has been considering suicide for 20 years, and said a lack of mobility was one of the reasons he wanted to take his own life.


"I think there probably will be a step in the right direction", he said.

"My abilities have been in decline over the past year or two, my eyesight over the past six years".

The ABC reported at the time that after almost two decades on the campus, Goodall was told to leave amid concerns about his well-being.

"It's depressed me; it shows the effect of age".

"We must be very careful with life", she said.

"I am glad to have the chance [to die] but would have preferred to have had it in Australia", he said. Although he did not break any bones, he was unable to get up from the floor and remained there for two days.


David Goodall, who is not terminally ill, happily sang a few bars of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at a news conference Wednesday on the eve of his assisted suicide in Basel.

The esteemed botanist and ecologist, who does not believe in the afterlife and has been a member of Exit International for 20 years, said he tried clumsily to take own his life at least three times, and then finally made a decision to get professional help. "The message I would like to send is: Once one passes the age of 50 or 60, one should be free to decide for oneself, whether one wants to go on living or not". I have a lot of family elsewhere, some in Europe, whom I shall see in Bordeaux.

In his last news conference Wednesday, Goodall said there are certainly things he will miss, such as his "journeys into the Australian countryside".

Goodall arrived in France on Monday, nearing his destination, where he expressed to reporters his pleasure at being able to make this choice. "I'm content to leave them undone".

In the end, Goodall said he would like to be remembered "as an instrument of freeing the elderly" to choose their own death.


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