British born ecologist Dr David Goodall, 104, ends his life at Swiss clinic

Nick Reilly
Australian scientist David Goodall has died by assisted suicide in Switzerland

British-born scientist has died at the age of 104 after he travelled to Switzerland to end his life at an assisted suicide clinic.

Dr David Goodall travelled to the clinic from his home in Australia, where euthanasia is illegal.

Dr Goodall was given a fatal dose of a sleeping drug at the clinic in Liestal, Switzerland, with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony playing in the room as he died.

A clinic spokesperson confirmed that Dr Goodall had ‘gone in peace’ and was surrounded by a handful of close family members and friends during his final moments.

He arrived at the clinic shortly before 11am this morning, after eating a final meal of fish and chips and cheesecake in his hotel on Wednesday night. 

It is believed that he will be cremated in Switzerland, before his ashes are flown back to Australia.

Yesterday, Dr Goodall addressed a press conference today on the eve of his death to explain his decision.

‘I am rather surprised at the wide internet in my case. I am very appreciative of the hospitality of the Swiss federation and the ability which one has here to come to an end gracefully,’ he told reporters.

‘I am happy to have this chance, though I would have preferred to have had it in Australia, and I greatly regret that Australia is behind Switzerland in this move, and that most countries are in fact behind Switzerland.

‘One wants at my age, and even rather less than my age, one wants to be free to chose their death at an appropriate time.

‘I no longer want to continue life. I am happy to have the chance tomorrow to end it and i appreciate the help of the medical profession here in making that possible.’

A room in the clinic at Liestal near Basel, Switzerland, where 104-year-old Australian scientist David Goodall ended his life (AP Photo/Philipp Jenne)

He spent time during his last days at the Botanical Gardens of Basel University, where he recorded footage for a forthcoming documentary on his decision to end his life.

Dr Goodall was able to fly to Switzerland in Business Class after Exit International, a group that campaigns in favour of assisted dying, raised more than £10,000 with a crowdfunding appeal.

The cost of dying at the clinic run by Life Cycle is believed to be around £8,000.