David Goodall, Australia's oldest scientist, ends his own life at 104

Glen Norman
May 11, 2018

The final words of scientist David Goodall before he lost consciousness at an assisted suicide clinic were "this is taking an awfully long time". "I am happy I have the chance to end it". What is sad is if one is prevented.

Mr Goodall had lived on his own in a small flat in Perth, Western Australia, until only a few weeks before his trip to Switzerland. 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.

The assisted suicide advocacy group Exit International, founded by Philip Nitschke aka "Doctor Death", announced that medical personnel declared Goodall dead at 12:30 p.m. local time in the town of Liestal, just outside Basel, according to The Sun.

Assisted dying is illegal in Australia. except for one state, Victoria, which in November 2017 voted to legalize euthanasia in some cases.

The organization arranged his appointment at Life Circle and raised funds for the scientist to travel business class from Australia to Switzerland.


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

This is the first time a relatively healthy person has made a decision to pursue euthanasia, as most who choose to do so suffer from terminal illnesses. "My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights including the right of assisted suicide".

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.

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

"That which I would like is to get different states to follow Switzerland's guide and make them facilities available for all clients, should they satisfy certain demands, and also certain requirements perhaps not only of age, but instead of mental capacity".


"The process of dying can be rather unpleasant, but it need not be", he said.

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

"At my age, or less than my age, one wants to be free to choose the death when the death is at an appropriate time", Goodall said.

"This is taking an very bad long time", Goodall reportedly complained about the actual death process.


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