Australian scientist offers last public thoughts before Swiss euthanasia

Day out in the sun One of Dr Goodall's grandchildren pushes his wheelchair through the Basel University Botanical Gardens

David Goodall will spend his last day at a botanical garden with his grandchildren and he is set to die at a Switzerland assisted suicide clinic tomorrow.

Renowned botanist Dr. David Goodall will end his life at age 104 at a Swiss suicide clinic Thursday, saying he "hasn't got anything to live for".

The ecologist, who was born in England and moved to Australia, also had a final meal of fish and chips with cheesecake for dessert.

He has chosen to end his life in Switzerland since Australia now does not permit medically assisted suicide.

In the culmination of a frustrating few years, Goodall will, sometime today, take a lethal cocktail of drugs at an assisted suicide centre in Switzerland, effectively ending his life.

For the past two decades, Goodall has been a member of Exit International, a nonprofit organization based in Australia that advocates for the legalization of euthanasia, according to the group's website.

"What I would like is for other countries to follow Switzerland's lead and make these facilities available to all clients, if they meet the requirements, and the requirements not just of age but of mental capacity", Goodall said, according to CNN.

Prof Goodall was able to fly to Switzerland after Exit International raised more than £10,000 in a crowd funding appeal.

"He wishes to have no funeral, no remembrance service or ceremony", the group said in a statement.

Petting a dog in a warm welcoming crew at Basel's airport, David Goodall answered reporters' questions after coming in from visiting relatives in Bordeaux, France, over the weekend.

The turning point for him seemed to be a fall in his one-bedroom flat.

"I am glad to have the chance but would have preferred to have had it in Australia".

"I think there probably will be a step in the right direction", he said.

He appeared bemused by public interest in his case.

"One should be free to choose the death, when death is at an appropriate time", he said. "I am happy I have the chance to end it". He wanted no ceremony after his death. "And a person should not be forced to leave home to achieve it".

Still, the medical association is contemplating whether to ease its reservations about making assisted suicide an option for anyone besides the terminally ill, such as by possibly accepting that frail elderly people - like, say, willing people over age 80 - could take part. Goodall does not have a terminal illness but says his quality of life has deteriorated and that he wants to die.

"It would have been much more convenient for everyone if I had been able to, but unfortunately it failed", he said of the suicide attempt.

Still academically active in his later years, Goodall became an honorary research associate at Edith Cowan University, where he continued to review, edit and publish papers, as well as co-supervise botany students. He became editor-in-chief of Ecosystems of the World, a 30-volume major book series that systematically detailed our planet's major biomes, providing a comprehensive record of ecological knowledge. In 2016, the university requested he vacate his office on campus, citing concerns for his safety.

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