104-year-old Australian scientist to end life in Switzerland

A 104-year-old Australian scientist has decided to end his life in Switzerland, saying he “greatly regrets living to his advanced age”.

David Goodall, a prominent botanist and ecologist is planning to end his life on May 10. He will be accompanied by a nurse from pro-euthanasia organisation Exit International, CNN quoted the group’s founder as saying.

On his 104th birthday last month, Goodall told in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) interview that if he had a birthday wish to make, he wanted to die in peace.

“No, I’m not happy. I want to die… It’s not sad particularly, what is sad is if one is prevented (from dying). If one chooses to kill oneself then that should be fair enough and I don’t think anyone else should interfere,” he said in the ABC interview.

Philip Nitschke, the founder of Exit International, said the option of travelling to Switzerland to seek “medically assisted suicide” was open to anyone, provided they had valid reasons and fulfilled certain criteria, according to the report.

He added that Goodall would spend a few days in France before he flies to Basel in Switzerland to end his life.

“My belief is that any rational adult should have the ability to access the drugs which would give them a peaceful, reliable death,” Goodall further said.

Euthanasia is illegal in Australia, including in Goodall’s home state of Western Australia. However, Victoria state recently announced that it would allow assisted medical suicide from mid-2019.

According to Exit International, Goodall was born in London on April 4, 1914. He has held academic positions in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.

In 1979, he retired from academics and edited a 30-volume series called – “Ecosystems of the World”, written by more than 500 authors.

Goodall is an advocate for medically assisted suicide and has been a member of Exit International for 20 years. (ANI)