David Goodall: Scientist, 104, ends his life in Switzerland

David Goodall: Scientist, 104, ends his life in Switzerland

David Goodall: Scientist, 104, ends his life in Switzerland

He was accompanied to the Basel clinic of Swiss assisted-dying organisation Life Circle by Dr Philip Nitschke, founder of Australian right-to-die group Exit International. In Switzerland, while assisted suicide is technically not legal, it is allowed under certain circumstances.

Goodall secured a fast-track appointment with the foundation in Basel after he attempted but failed to commit suicide on his own earlier this year.

"I no longer want to continue living", Goodall told journalists on Wednesday.

Australia's Victoria state has passed an assisted suicide law that will go into effect in 2019, but it only allows for terminally ill patients to end their lives - Goodall would not have qualified under the law.

He joked "what are we waiting for?" as his relatives filled out witness paperwork at the assisted suicide clinic.

Nitschke said Goodall was declared dead at 12:30 p.m.in Liestal, a town outside the city of Basel.

"In fact his last words were: 'This is taking an awfully long time!'".

He did not a funeral, remembrance service or ceremony to take place as he had "no belief in the afterlife", Exit International said.

There, news of his death prompted debate over his legacy, with some former colleagues suggesting his public suicide fit a personality that did not shy the limelight.

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He said he hoped the widespread interest he generated would spur Australia and other countries to rethink their laws.

"I am happy to have the chance tomorrow to end it, and I appreciate the help of the medical profession here in making that possible", he said.

Goodall was an advocate for assisted dying for years as a member of Exit International; the group helped arrange his trip to Switzerland.

"At my age, and even at rather less than my age, one wants to be free to choose the death and when the death is the appropriate time", he said.

In the U.S., OR led the way in legalizing assisted suicide.

Assisted suicide is illegal in most countries and was banned in Australia until the state of Victoria became the first to legalise the practice previous year.

Once named Australia's oldest working scientist, Goodall wished for his body to be donated to medicine or, alternatively, that his ashes be sprinkled locally.

Although the reputed scientist was not terminally ill, he motivated his decision to opt for assisted suicide by citing his deteriorating quality of life, reports the BBC.

"What I would like is for other countries to follow Switzerland's lead and make these facilities available to all clients, if they meet the requirements, and the requirements not just of age, but of mental capacity". 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.

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