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104-Year-Old Australian Scientist Commits Assisted Suicide In Switzerland

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After being denied assisted suicide in his home country of Australia, David Goodall traveled to Switzerland for it. Goodall was 104 years old when he died on Thursday, May 10.  ( Sebastien Bozon | AFP/Getty Images )

David Goodall, an Australian scientist who recently lost a legal battle in his native country to commit assisted suicide, died on Thursday, May 10.

Goodall had to travel to Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal, to be able to end his life.

David Goodall's Death

Goodall had said that the quality of his life was poor in the past year and that he would be very happy to finally end his life. He had been thinking about committing suicide for around the last 20 years of his life. He said that he began thinking about it again as his life was becoming plagued with health conditions. Specifically, it was his lack of mobility and doctor's orders that hastened his wish to die.

Goodall was a proponent of expanding the rights of committing assisted suicide to those that simply wish to end their lives. He wasn't terminally ill at the time of his death.

A group named Exit International helped Goodall find a suitable place to commit assisted suicide. To end his life, Goodall took an intravenous drip of pentobarbital, which is used as an anesthetic but is lethal in high doses. A doctor placed the cannula in his arm, and Goodall had to turn the wheel for the pentobarbital to enter his system. At first Goodall fell asleep and then he died. He was declared dead at 12:30 p.m. 

Goodall didn't want a funeral service, a remembrance service, nor a ceremony in his name. He didn't believe in the afterlife. Instead, he wanted his body donated to science, or if not, he wished for his ashes to be sprinkled locally.

Spark For Suicide

Goodall faced a harrowing situation a few months before his 104th birthday. He fell on his back in the corner of his one-bedroom apartment. While on the floor, he noticed that he wasn't able to stand up, and when he called out for help, nobody could hear him. Goodall spent two days on the floor before a cleaner came to his home and found him.

Shortly after the discovery, he was taken to the hospital. After his examination, he was advised that he shouldn't be taking public transportation on his own or even try to cross the street by himself. He didn't like the restrictions that were being put on him and felt that this was a lack of respect.

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