Scientist, 104, ‘content’ ahead of assisted suicide

David Goodall, a world-renowned ecologist, told a news conference he might play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to accompany his death, surrounded by close relatives, on Thursday.

He has travelled to Switzerland due to the nation’s liberal assisted suicide laws, in contrast to his home country of Australia where it remains forbidden.

David Goodall
Image:David Goodall will end his life on Thursday

Dr Goodall, who is not terminally ill, told reporters: “One should be free to choose the death, when death is at an appropriate time.

Scientist, 104, ‘content’ ahead of assisted suicide
Scientist, 104, ‘content’ ahead of assisted suicide

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

“I no longer want to continue life.”

104-year-old discusses his intentions for assisted dying at an airport on the way to Switzerland 1:45

Video:Assisted dying: One should ‘be free to decide’

Dr Goodwall wore a jumper emblazoned with the words “Aging Disgracefully” as he addressed the packed press conference.

He said he felt a “sense of pressure” given the media attention on his end-of-life journey to Switzerland.

“I don’t feel that anyone else’s choice is involved,” he said.

He told reporters he had not given much thought to a last meal and acknowledged he was not without regrets.

“There are many things I would like to do, but it’s too late,” Dr Goodall added.

“I’m content to leave them undone.”

David Goodall. Pic: Go Fund Me
Image:Dr Goodall is a world-renowned ecologist. Pic: GoFundMe

Dr Goodall will reportedly die at 10am local time (9am UK time) at a clinic in an undisclosed location, with four family members and a close friend by his side.

He was born in London in 1914 and moved in 1948 to Australia, where he was a lecturer at the University of Melbourne.

Assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland since the 1940s, if performed by someone with no direct interest in the death.

David Goodall. Pic Go Fund Me
Image:He moved to Australia from Britain in 1948. Pic: GoFundMe

Campaign group Exit International, which is helping Mr Goodall make the trip, said it was unjust that one of Australia’s “oldest and most prominent citizens should be forced to travel to the other side of the world to die with dignity”.

The group launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay for business class plane tickets for Mr Goodall and his helper which has so far raised more than £11,000.

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