Euthanasia was Perth scientist David Goodall's dying wish

Sergio Conner
May 11, 2018

He said: "I wouldn't suggest that it's available to everyone, and just going and buying it off the shelf".

Goodall is an advocate for medically assisted death for the elderly.

Even if he waited until next year, Goodall wouldn't have been qualified to request a lethal drug to end his life as he does not have terminal illness.

However, a handful of nations - including Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - have legalised one or both of the practices, according to the nonprofit group ProCon.org.

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.

In the US, assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California, Colorado, Hawaii and Washington, D.C. In Montana, a court decision is required to resort to this option.

Goodall said he had no doubts over his chosen course of action and was grateful for the opportunity to "come to an end gracefully".

"One should be free to choose the death, when death is at an appropriate time", he said.

"My life has been out in the field (working), but I can't go out in the field now", said Goodall, who needs a wheelchair and walking frame to get around, during an interview at his Basel hotel.

Victoria is the only state or territory to have legalised voluntary euthanasia in Australia.

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Goodall said that doctor's restrictions and Australian laws on assisted suicide prohibited him from taking his own life.

Members of Dr Goodall's family, including five of his grandchildren, travelled from the United States and France to say their final farewells.

Goodall meets all the requirements for seeking an assisted death, despite the fact that he is not terminally ill.

An honorary research associate at Perth's Edith Cowan University, Mr Goodall has produced dozens of research papers and until recently continued to review and edit for different ecology journals.

Goodall said his last public farewell on Wednesday at a news conference created to publicize his decision and to help others who might also seek that path.

"Now the cause will be: why are we preventing poor old people from ending their lives?" he said.

Yesterday, while wearing a jumper with the words "Aging Disgracefully", he told a packed news conference: 'There are many things I would like to do, but it's too late.

Ms Goodall-Smith said she had spent the days since her father's departure reflecting.

Sky's Michelle Clifford said police and coroner officials would now need to visit the clinic to make sure the assisted suicide was carried out properly.

"He was an wonderful scientist, an incredible man who did whatever he said he was going to do", she said. "In Switzerland, I will also see one or two other members of my family, and so that will also be a goodbye". In traveling to Switzerland, he said he hoped his example would lead to debate and give more people the option of physician-assisted suicide.

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