David Goodall: How Australia's Oldest Scientist Ended His Own Life Aged 104

104yo David Goodall at home

Right-to-die group Exit International said Goodall started planning for his suicide after his quality of life began deteriorating.

He joked "what are we waiting for?" as his relatives filled out witness paperwork at the assisted suicide clinic.

That law only comes into effect in 2019 and can only be used by those who are terminally ill or suffering from an incurable disease. "I'm content to leave them undone", he said.

Four family members and a close friend had travelled to be at his side when he ended his life.

Overnight a press conference was called, with reporters from around the world packed into the small hotel room where Dr Goodall had been spending his final days.

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

The esteemed botanist and ecologist, who does not believe in the afterlife and has been a member of Exit International for 20 years, said he tried clumsily to take own his life at least three times, and then finally chose to get professional help.

Dr Goodall had the option to change his mind at any time.

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"His final words were "this is taking a long time"."He'd been told that everything would be very quick and in some ways, there had been a few delays". There have also been several cases of botched deaths in OR, in which a patient's doctor was not present during the assisted suicide.

Currently, most legislation that allows for assisted suicide or euthanasia does so only in the cases of terminally ill patients.

Goodall was born 4 April 1914 in London, and in 1948 moved to Australia.

Goodall was an honorary research associate at Edith Cowan University in Perth, and was the editor-in-chief of the multi-volume Ecosystems of the World in 1979.

Dr Goodall requested that his body be donated to medicine and, if not, that his ashes be sprinkled locally.

He did not a funeral, remembrance service or ceremony to take place as he had "no belief in the afterlife", Exit International said.

"David Goodall is exactly the sort of member that Exit is made of and is proud of", Dr. Nitschke said in a statement, adding: "It was a wonderful experience to know him and be so intimately involved in his final weeks of life".

"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". "I'm happy to have a chance to end it". It's not sad particularly.

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