A 104-year-old Australian scientist who had campaigned for the legalization of assisted dying in his home country has ended his life at a Swiss clinic, a representative from the pro-euthanasia group Exit International said.
David Goodall, a respected botanist and ecologist, died Thursday at the Life Circle clinic in Basel, Switzerland, after administering a lethal drug under the guidance of doctors.
Exit International, which represented the scientist, said Goodall passed away while listening to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”
The grandfather of 12 had attracted over $20,000 in donations from the public to help fund his journey to Europe from Perth, Australia, earlier this month.
Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, two days before he was due to die, Goodall said that his life stopped being enjoyable “five or 10 years ago,” in part because of his failing mobility and eyesight.
“My life has been out in the field (working), but I can’t go out in the field now,” said Goodall, who needs a wheelchair and walking frame to get around, during an interview at his Basel hotel.
“I would love to be able to walk into the bush again, and see what is all around me,” added the father of four, who during his long life had three wives.
“I could still enjoy birdsong,” he added. “But my lack of vision would seriously impair it.”
David Goodall in his Basel hotel room, two days before his death.
Goodall told CNN he would have preferred to have died when he lost his driver’s license in 1998, adding that the loss of independence at 84 was a big moment in his life.
“At my age, I get up in the morning. I eat breakfast. And then I just sit until lunchtime. Then I have a bit of lunch and just sit. What’s the use of that?” said the scientist, who appeared to have lost none of his sense of humor on Tuesday, wearing a top inscribed with the words “Aging Disgracefully.”