David Goodall, the 104-year-old Australian scientist who traveled to Switzerland to die, died Thursday in Basel after an assisted suicide he was denied in his country.
“At 12:30 [10:30 GMT] yesterday, Professor David Goodall, 104, passed away peacefully in Basel for an injection of Nembutal,” a barbiturate, wrote on Twitter the doctor Philip Nitschke, of the Exit Foundation. International.
Goodall had no terminal illness but considered that his quality of life had worsened and he wanted to die.
At the beginning of the year he unsuccessfully requested the Australian authorities to allow him to commit suicide with assistance, then he decided to travel to Switzerland, where several foundations offer this service.
“I would have preferred to end up in Australia and I’m very sorry that Australia is behind in terms of Switzerland” on this issue, he said at a massive press conference on Wednesday at a hotel in Basel. “I do not want to continue living,” he said.
The scientist left Australia last week to visit his son, who lives in Bordeaux (France), and then went to Switzerland.
The assisted suicide, organized by the Swiss foundation, Eternal Spirit, took place in an apartment in which Goodall died surrounded by his grandchildren and a friend.
At 12.30 today (10th May) Professor David Goodall, 104 years of age, died peacefully at Life Cycle, Basel, Switzerland from an infusion of Nembutal.
— Philip Nitschke (@philipnitschke) May 10, 2018
The honorary researcher of the university Edith Cowan of Perth asked that his body should use be for science, but if it was rejected , his ashes should be scattered in Switzerland. He also asked that no ceremony be held after his death.
To demonstrate that he was not sad, Goodall did not hesitate to sing, during the press conference, a German fragment of the Hymn of Joy of Beethoven’s ninth symphony, his favorite piece, and was applauded by the audience.
On Thursday, after a last meal with his family – fried fish with potatoes and cheesecake – he lay down on the bed and an assistant placed an intravenous line in his arm.
Following the Swiss legislation, it was the same Goodall who opened the valve to release the lethal product based on sodium pentobarbital, a very powerful sedative that in high doses stops the heartbeat.