10 May 2018Hot off the Press
Professor David Goodall, Australia’s oldest scientist at 104 years of age, held a press conference in the Swiss city of Basel to discuss his plans to end his life through a voluntary assisted suicide program in Switzerland.
The end of life clinic has approved Professor Goodall’s application, following an assessment of the Professor’s mindset on Tuesday.
Professor Goodall appeared before a large crowd of international media reporters, a sight which he was surprised to see.
“I’m rather surprised at the wide interest in my case. I am very appreciative of the hospitality of the Swiss Federation and the [ability] to come to an end gracefully,” he said.
“I am glad to have the chance, but would have preferred to have had it in Australia.”
When he was asked whether he had any hesitations about ending his life, he responded: “No, none whatsoever.”
“I’m glad to have the chance tomorrow to end it and I appreciate the help of the medical profession here in making that possible.
“At my age, or less than my age, one wants to be free to choose the death when the death is an appropriate time.”
Professor Goodall said he had no particular song he has selected, but said that if he did it would have been Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
He then broke into a song, which was received by a warm applause.
On what he would miss the most, Professor Goodall said he would miss journeying into the Australian countryside.
“I would like to go back to … my favourite area, the Kimberley.”
Professor Goodall’s physical condition and quality of life has continued to deteriorate, causing him to attempt to take his own life in the past 12 months. It was after the ordeal that he decided to travel to Switzerland where euthanasia is legal.
“I certainly hope my story will increase the pressure for people to have more liberal view on the subject [of voluntary euthanasia]. I think there probably will be a step in the right direction.”
The Professor said he plans to die on Thursday surrounded by “one or two” family members.