An Australian scientist who celebrated his 104th birthday last month said he’s sorry he’s made it to that ripe old age — and wants to legally end his life in Switzerland.
“I greatly regret having reached that age,” David Goodall told the Australian ABC news outlet. “I’m not happy. I want to die. It’s not sad particularly. What is sad is if one is prevented.”
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Goodall, who failed at several attempts to commit suicide in the past year, plans to travel to Bordeaux in France on Wednesday to visit family before heading to Basel, the Australian ABC news outlet reported.
An end-of-life clinic in the Swiss city has approved his application to die through voluntary euthanasia. A rep from advocacy group Exit International will accompany him.
“I don’t want to go to Switzerland, though it’s a nice country,” Goodall said. “But I have to do that in order to get the opportunity of suicide which the Australian system does not permit.”
The oldest scientist Down Under — an honorary research associate at Perth’s Edith Cowan University — made headlines two years ago when he was declared unfit to be on campus because he was a safety risk to himself.
He challenged the decision and prevailed, though his physical condition has continued to deteriorate, along with his quality of life.
Goodall told ABC that he appreciated the public’s interest in his quest to die and hoped it would spark more discussion about the issue of voluntary euthanasia.
“I would like them to understand it,” he said. “I am 104 years old so I haven’t got much time left anyway. I might as well not have (my health) getting worse and worse, making me unhappy as it goes.”
He said he has received support from his family.
“I’m saying farewell all the time,” added Goodall, a leading ecologist and botanist who was born in London in 1914 and emigrated to Australia in 1948.
Exit International said it was unfair 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,” the UK’s Guardian reported.
“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.
The group’s GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $19,000 for plane tickets for Goodall and his helper.
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