David Goodall recently celebrated his 104th birthday on April 4th. As he blew out the candles on his cake, the elderly man had only one wish: to die.
“I greatly regret having reached that age. I would much prefer to be 20 or 30 years younger,” Goodall — who is not ill — told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “No, I’m not happy. I want to die… One lives some decades and then one dies. It’s not sad. What is sad is if one is prevented.”
Goodall, a botanist and ecologist who is considered the country’s oldest scientist, left to fly to Basel, Switzerland — by way of Bordeaux, France — on Wednesday, according to Australia’s 9 News. There, he will participate in the Life Circle service — in which he will consume a mixture of euthanasia drugs and die, according to both a GoFundMe page started for the man and Australian Broadcasting Corp’s Radio National Breakfast.
“Once one is past the stage of middle life, one has paid back to society the debts that have been paid out,” he continued to Australian Broadcasting Corp. “One should be free to use the rest of his life as one chooses. If one chooses to kill oneself then that’s fair enough. I don’t think anyone else should interfere.”
Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are illegal in Australia — like most countries — and although Switzerland has not passed legislation to legalize assisted suicide, the practice is allowed in some circumstances, according to the Chicago Tribune. Goodall is traveling the thousands of miles to the country with the help of Exit International, a pro-euthanasia organization founded by Dr. Philip Nitschke, according to the organization’s website.
Nitschke and others are supporting Goodall through the process, Australian Broadcasting Corp said. According toAustralian Broadcasting Corp, Goodall has tried to kill himself several times over the past 12 months.
Nitschke said in the radio interview that Goodall’s family respects the man’s decision.
According to 9 News, before his departure from the Perth Airport on Wednesday, Goodall — accompanied by friend Carol O’Neil — was seen wearing a shirt that read “Ageing Disgracefully.”