Australian scientist David Goodall ends his life at Swiss clinic

13 May, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • 104yo David Goodall at home

Beethoven's 9th symphony was played during the 104-year-old's final moments.

His last words, as the infusion started to drip, were, "This is taking an awfully long time!".

Speaking on Thursday in the room where he later died, Mr Goodall said: "My life has been rather poor for the previous year or so. It's my own choice to end my life tomorrow and I look forward to that and I'm grateful to the Swiss nation to make that possible", he added, expressing optimism his story will help forward the cause he was so passionate about.

He had not been terminally ill but had been contemplating ending his life for about 20 years, citing mobility issues and failing vision.

"I would quite like to be remembered as an instrument of freeing the elderly from the need to pursue their life irrespective", the honorary research associate at Perth's Edith Cowman University said, according to The Local.

Switzerland allows assisted suicide "for anyone who acknowledges in writing that they are taking their lives willingly - without being forced", according to The Associated Press.

Despite not having a terminal illness, David Goodall, who was 104, believed his quality of life had deteriorated and he secured a fast-track appointment with an assisted dying agency in Basel, reigniting the end-of-life debate.

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A parliamentary committee in Western Australia is now examining the issue of assisted dying, with a view to advising possible future legislation similar to that recently introduced in Victoria.

Assisted suicide was supposed to be meant for people who have lethal medical conditions or are in significant pain but Goodall's case is another example of how healthy people are killing themselves.

The scientist flew business class from his home in Perth to Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal, after raising thousands of pounds in donations to fund the journey.

Dr Goodall was asked to say his name, his date of birth and why he was at the clinic.

David Goodall told dozens of journalists who had gathered together into a small room at a hotel in the northern Swiss city of Basel on Wednesday, that he did not want to live anymore. In his final wishes, he said he didn't want a funeral or remembrance service.

Prof Goodall was cleared by two Swiss doctors, including a psychiatrist on Wednesday who said he was of sound mind, to proceed with the "Swiss option". However, there are some changes in the works ― last fall, the state of Victoria became the first in the country to legalize assisted dying in specific cases.

"I think he was very clear what he was doing".

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