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104-year-old scientist seeks help to end life


A 104- year-old scientist, David Goodall has declared his intention to fly to Switzerland in early May 2018 to end his life with an assisted dying agency.

Goodall, who is Australia’s oldest scientist, does not have a terminal illness but his quality of life has deteriorated and he has secured a fast-track appointment to get help to die.

“I greatly regret having reached that age,” the ecologist told broadcaster ABC on his birthday earlier this month. “I’m not happy. I want to die. It’s not sad particularly. What is sad is if one is prevented. My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights including the right to assisted suicide.”


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 the practice last year.

But that legislation, which takes effect from June 2019, only applies to terminally ill patients of sound mind and a life expectancy of less than six months.

Exit International, which is helping Goodall make the trip, said it was unjust that one of Australia’s “oldest and most prominent citizens should be forced to travel to the other side of the world to die with dignity.

A peaceful, dignified death is the entitlement of all who want it. And a person should not be forced to leave home to achieve it,” it said on its website Monday.

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