Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Scientist ends life at Swiss clinic listening to 'Ode to Joy'

David Goodall, 104, 'happy' to have the chance to die today Scientist, 104, plans assisted suicide in Switzerland
Lillian Steele | 11 May, 2018, 01:03

David Goodall, a renowned 104-year-old Australian scientist who came to Switzerland to end his life, died on Thursday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the longtime member of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International talked with reporters about his particular case and why he was choosing to end his long life.

As it happened, Goodall was not "prevented", even though there were those who had opposed him travelling to Switzerland to end his life.

Goodall said he did not have a terminal illness and until recent years, he appeared to be in good health. Now seven states (and Washington, D.C.) have laws allowing assisted suicide for terminally ill, mentally competent adults - Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, Montana, Washington, Colorado and California.

"I've no difficulty at all with people opposing it, people are entitled to live their life the way they wish providing that living that life that way doesn't interfere with anybody else's ability to live their life the way they want".

He was born in the U.K.in April 1914, just before the outbreak of World War I, and moved from London to Australia as a child. Goodall said he hoped his story will help countries like Australia change their laws to be more accepting of assisted suicide.

Prof. Goodall was cleared by two Swiss doctors, including a psychiatrist who said he was of sound mind, to proceed with the "Swiss option".

"My entire life was out in the area (doing work), however that I cannot move from the industry now", said Goodall, who needs a wheel chair and also walking frame to go about, during a meeting in his Basel hotel.

According to the Exit International website, Goodall requested that his body be donated to medicine and that his ashes be spread locally.

Goodall died today after taking a fatal sleeping drug and was surrounded by four family members and a close friend. For years, Australia has banned such practices, but in November, the state of Victoria became the first to pass a euthanasia bill, which, by summer 2019, will allow terminally ill patients to end their lives.

University officials later reversed their decision. "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".

"That which I would like is to get different states to follow Switzerland's guide and make them facilities available for all clients, should they satisfy certain demands, and also certain requirements perhaps not only of age, but instead of mental capacity".

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