Scientist, 104, 'Resentful' He Has to End His Life Abroad

David Goodall is traveling from Australia to Switzerland for an assisted suicide
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2018 8:26 AM CDT
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David Goodall hopes his trip to Switzerland will be his last.   (Getty Images/Images_by_Lisa)

(Newser) – Australia's oldest scientist recently celebrated his 104th birthday, but it wasn't a joyous occasion. "I greatly regret having reached that age," David Goodall told ABC Australia in early April. "I'm not happy. I want to die." And that's exactly what Goodall, an esteemed ecologist, intends to do this month, with plans in the works to travel from Perth to a clinic in Basel, Switzerland, where staff there will help him end his life, the Guardian reports. Although Goodall doesn't have a terminal illness—a requirement for euthanasia in Victoria, the only state in Australia where assisted suicide will be legal as of June 2019—he says his quality of life has gone downhill and he doesn't want to prolong things. Switzerland is one of the few places in the world where, even though assisted suicide hasn't technically been legalized, it's not against Swiss law in "some circumstances," per the Washington Post.

Goodall was in good shape into his 90s, when his vision started to fail. In 2016, Edith Cowan University, where he's an honorary research assistant, deemed him "unfit" to be on campus. Exit International, a euthanasia advocacy nonprofit that's helping organize his trip, has set up a GoFundMe page, calling the fact that he has to travel across the world to carry out his wishes a "pathetic state of affairs." "A peaceful, dignified death is the entitlement of all who want it," the group says in its latest newsletter. "And a person should not be forced to leave home to achieve it." Forbes notes Goodall—who tells the New Daily he feels "resentful" he has to go to Switzerland—has been an Exit International member for 20 years and "considering the next gradation for his own personal collection of carbon-based, life-bearing molecules for some time. Now, he's ready." (Check out this euthanasia pod.)

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