Euthanasia was Perth scientist David Goodall's dying wish

11 May, 2018, 04:27 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Making the most of it David Goodall tours the Basel University Botanical Gardens with three of his grandchildren and two of their partners the day before his planned assisted suicide

The ecologist, who was born in England and moved to Australia, also had a final meal of fish and chips with cheesecake for dessert.

And in his final minutes, a German-sung version of the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Ode to Joy, was played in line with his wishes. A doctor put a cannula in his arm, and Goodall turned a wheel to allow the solution to flow, Exit International said.

The ecologist and botanist died "peacefully" at 12:30 local time in Basel, from an infusion of Nembutal, a barbiturate, said Exit International, the group which helped him take his own life.

"He nearly became a little impatient at the end, having to go through quite a few necessary formal steps that are part of the process", Philip Nitschke, founder of right-to-die group Exit International, told AAP.

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

In less than 24 hours, Australia's oldest scientist will be injected with a lethal mix of drugs, closing the chapter on his 104-year life.

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"I no longer want to continue life", he said.

He wanted his body to be donated to science or for his ashes to be sprinkled.

"I am content to leave them undone".

Exit International, which helped 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".

Two days before his death, he said since the past 5-10 years, that he had stopped enjoying life because of his failing mobility and sight.

"I would have preferred to have (ended) it in Australia, and I greatly regret that Australia is behind Switzerland" when it comes to right-to-die laws, he said.

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"But I was considered incapable of looking after myself".

"I am glad to arrive", he said from a wheelchair at a French airport Monday as he neared his final destination.

He had attempted suicide three times, but Australian medical professionals saved him.

An honorary research associate at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Goodall produced dozens of research papers and continued to publish after his retirement.

"One should be free to choose death, when death is at an appropriate time", Goodall told reporters at a Wednesday press conference, according to The Sun.

University officials later reversed their decision.

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