Australia's 104-year-old scientis heads to Switzerland to end life

May 04, 2018, 12:00 IST | Agencies

David Goodall does not have a terminal illness, but his quality of life has deteriorated and he has secured a fast-track appointment with assisted dying agency Life Circle in Basel

David Goodall (right) with Carol O'Neill of Exit International. Pic/AFP
David Goodall (right) with Carol O'Neill of Exit International. Pic/AFP

Australia's oldest scientist, wearing a top labelled "ageing disgracefully", has left the country for Switzerland to end his life at the age of 104, saying he is resentful that he must go overseas to die.

David Goodall does not have a terminal illness, but his quality of life has deteriorated and he has secured a fast-track appointment with assisted dying agency Life Circle in Basel.

He will spend several days with other family in Bordeaux, France, before heading to Switzerland where he is due to end his life on May 10. "I don't want to go to Switzerland, though it's a nice country," he said before leaving.

"But, I have to do that in order to get the opportunity of suicide, which the Australian system does not permit. I feel very resentful." Assisted suicide is illegal in most countries around the world and was banned in Australia until the state of Victoria became the first to legalise it last year. But, that legislation, which takes effect from June 2019, only applies to terminally ill patients with life expectancy of less than six months.

About David Goodall
Goodall, an honorary research associate at Edith Cowan University, made headlines in 2016 when he was declared unfit to be on campus. After a global uproar, the decision was reversed. He has produced dozens of research papers and until recently continued to review and edit for different ecology journals.

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