David Goodall, Australia's oldest scientist, ends his own life at 104

David Goodall, Australia's oldest scientist, ends his own life at 104

David Goodall, Australia's oldest scientist, ends his own life at 104

He died at the moment the song concluded, said Exit International - a campaign group that helped Dr Goodall travel to the clinic.

The renowned botanist and ecologist passed away while listening to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" at the Life Circle clinic in Basel.

He could not end his life in Australia, where assisted suicide is not legal, so took a one-way ticket from Perth to France last week to see relatives before arriving in Switzerland, where it is permitted. 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 no longer want to continue life", he said.

He stressed that it was his "own choice to end my life" and said: "I look forward to that".

Before leaving for Switzerland, he told 9 News Australia family members, including his daughter and three grandsons, were accompanying him on the trip.

The scientist, who was not terminally ill, had asked for no funeral or remembrance ceremony.

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.

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Goodall, who was not terminally ill, said he was ready for the end.

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.

Euthanasia is illegal in Australia, thought the state of Victoria is planning to allow assisted dying from mid-2019.

Professor Goodall, 104, travelled to Switzerland where medical professionals gave him a lethal injection.

In the U.S., California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, Washington state and Washington, D.C. have "death with dignity" laws, according to the advocacy group Death with Dignity, though these require a person to have a terminal illness. "I am content to leave them undone". "What's the use of that?" he told CNN while wearing a shirt bearing the words "Aging Disgracefully".

The story of the academic, who is one of the first Australians to undertake the procedure due to old age rather than a terminal illness, attracted global headlines and further inflamed a highly divisive debate.

Lea said Goodall's decision could have a knock-on effect for others contemplating it.

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