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 assisted him in doing so and raised the necessary funds for his travel and for his suicide.
"At 12.30 today (10th May) Professor David Goodall, 104 years of age, died peacefully at Life Cycle, Basel, Switzerland from an infusion of Nembutal", Exit International founder Philip Nitschke tweeted shortly after Goodall's passing.
Generally, the assisted suicide laws provide that mentally competent, terminally ill adults can request a prescription medication from their cooperating physician that would hasten their death, according to the website Death with Dignity.
"One wants to, at my age, even rather less than my age... to be free to choose death when the death is at an appropriate time", Goodall said during his final public appearance.
Born in London in 1914, just months before the outbreak of World War I, Goodall and his family moved to Australia when he was a child.
He stressed that it was his "own choice to end my life" and said: "I look forward to that".
"He wishes to have no funeral, no remembrance service or ceremony", the group said in a statement.
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Goodall, who had been barred from seeking help to end his life in his home country, did not have a terminal illness.
Dr Nitschke said Prof Goodall's death was peaceful.
Assisted dying, where patients engaged in ending their lives, can be legal in Canada, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland and parts of the United States.
In the US, seven states allows physician-assisted suicide - California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington according to Huffington Post.com. The singular Australian state to allow euthanasia is Victoria, but the option is legally available there only to terminally ill individuals.
At his last press conference on Wednesday, Goodall was in good spirits and sang a few bars of Ode to Joy while wearing a jumper printed with the words "ageing disgracefully".
Goodall said he hoped his story would encourage lawmakers to consider legislation to allow others like him to make their own decisions about death.
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