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In Switzerland, died 104-year-old Australian scientist – he passed euthanasia, determined that he was tired of life

Before his death, David Goodall sang Beethoven’s ninth symphony “Ode to Joy” and explained that he wanted to remain free and personally choose how to leave.

Getty Photos
Getty Photos

May 10, 2018, English and Australian environmentalist David Goodall (David Goodall) died as a result of euthanasia in the Swiss city of Basel. In the last hours before the procedure, a 104-year-old native of London, considered the oldest scientist in Australia, dined with his favorite dish – fish with French fries and cheesecake.

Goodall did not suffer from a serious illness, but in recent years his health has greatly worsened. “It is a great pity that I lived to that age. I am not happy. I want to die. In this case, there is nothing sad about this. The sad thing is that this can be prevented, “the scientist said in an interview. A week before his death, he flew from Australia to France to meet with several relatives before arriving in Switzerland.

This is one of the few countries in the world where euthanasia is allowed, but only if the person who conducts it does not feed selfish motives. These conditions often attract foreigners, which led to the formation of so-called ” suicidal tourism “, when the guests of the country come to die. In 2014, Switzerland recorded 742 cases of euthanasia – mostly it was elected by elderly people with serious illnesses.

David Goodall in the 1950s. Photo from the personal archive of the scientist
David Goodall in the 1950s. Photo from the personal archive of the scientist
Together with Goodall, an Australian humanist and euthanasia supporter, Philip Nichke, came to Switzerland to support the scientist. In Australia, such operations are prohibited, but in mid-2019 euthanasia is planned tobe resolved in the state of Victoria.

The last day of his life, Goodall, who taught biology and ecology at various universities in the United States, Great Britain and Australia, spent three years in botanical gardens with three grandchildren. They approved thedecision of the grandfather to leave his life on his own terms, and also considered his desire to publicly disclose his intention and supported the scientist’s desire to die on his own terms. Two days before the planned death, he admitted that he had ceased to enjoy life about five or ten years ago, mainly because of problems with movement and poor eyesight.

“At my age, or a little younger, a person wants to be able to choose death when it’s time for it. I do not want to continue my life any more, and I am glad to be able to finish it, “the scientist said.

In a recent interview, Goodall admitted that he was happy to see his relatives living in different parts of Europe and America in one place. “Probably, I would not have had this opportunity, if I had not chosen the Swiss way.” In total, the scientist donated about 20 thousand dollars for the trip.

A fragment of the last press conference Goodall, where the scientist performed “Ode to Joy”

Speaking of the imminent death on the cameras, the grandfather of 12 grandchildren and granddaughters looked cheerful and sang several lines from Beethoven’s symphony “Ode to Joy.” The scientist expressed the hope that his case would lead to the legalization of euthanasia in other countries.

In traveling to another continent, the elderly scientist was helped by the Australian organization Exit International, which advises people on euthanasia. Representatives of the institution said that one of the “oldest and most outstanding citizens of Australia should not have been forced to travel to another part of the world so that he could die with dignity”, referring to the country’s policy of euthanasia.

Goodall says goodbye to one of his grandchildren. Photos of AAP
Goodall says goodbye to one of his grandchildren. Photos of AAP
The head of the Australian Medical Association, Dr. Michael Gannon, expressed concern about how easily society accepted Goodall’s death. “After what age do we no longer rejoice in the person’s continuing life? People like Dr. Goodall make a decision based on nothing more than the idea that they no longer have to live. I think this line is dangerous to cross, “says Gannon.
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