Professor David Goodall, the Australian scientist who wanted to die, but had to travel to Europe where euthanasia is legal, has fulfilled his wish.
Goodall passed away on Thursday afternoon (local time), at a clinic in Basel, Switzerland, surrounded by his grandchildren and staff.
Nembutal, a barbiturate, was used. Goodall was the one to turn the wheel to let the solution flow through the IV. Ode to Joy of Beethoven’s 9th symphony was playing.
According to Dr Phillip Nitschke of Exit International who was at the time, David died at the moment the song concluded. Dr. Nitschke told the BBC that Dr. Goodall’s last words were “this is taking an awfully long time!”
His last meal was fish and chips, with cheesecake for dinner.
Before the administration of the drug, Goodall expressed impatience at the lengthy process. He asked “What are we waiting for?”
There will be no funeral, remembrance service or ceremony for Goodall at his request.
He asked that his body be donated to medicine and, if not, that his ashes be sprinkled locally. He had no belief in the afterlife.
The academic had been a member for Exit International for 20 years and a strong advocate for euthanasia.
He said “all the publicity this has been receiving can only help the cause.”
While Goodall did not have terminal illness, the 104-year-old said the quality of his life had deteriorated over the past few years.
He originally wanted to go through with assisted suicide at his home in Perth with loved ones by his side, but because euthanasia is illegal in Australia decided to travel to Switzerland.
A GoFundMe campaign was used to raise money for the trip, receiving $17,000 in pledges in eight days, and $21,000 in total.
In 2016, Goodall made headlines after he fought to overturn a decision made by the University of Melbourne to remove him from his office after he was declared unfit to be on campus. He was working there as an honorary research associate, an unpaid role reviewing academic papers and supervising PhD students.
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