Scientist Dr David Goodall, 104, ends his life at Swiss clinic

Precious time Dr Goodall speaks to his grandchildren and their partners about some of the plants displayed in the gardens

Precious time Dr Goodall speaks to his grandchildren and their partners about some of the plants displayed in the gardens

"My life has been out in the field (working), but I can't go out in the field now", said Goodall, who needs a wheelchair and walking frame to get around, during an interview at his Basel hotel.

"My life has been rather poor for the previous year or so". He wasn't legally permitted to end his life in Australia, where euthanasia is prohibited. Starting in June 2019, terminally ill patients who have a life expectancy of less than six months can request a lethal drug to end their lives.

"I'd like to be remembered as an instrument for freeing the elderly to choose their own death".

The British-born scientist said this week that he had been contemplating the idea of suicide for about 20 years.

Goodall flew from his home in Perth to an assisted-dying center in Basel.

Several US states have a form of physician-assisted suicide, as do a small number of countries including Japan, Belgium and Switzerland.

Swiss doctors are divided on the issue of assisted suicide.

At a press conference on Wednesday, he said he was surprised by the public interest in his case.

Drake noted: "It's one thing for me to say that, it's another thing for Derek Humphry, who embodies the assisted suicide movement, to say it".

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"I'm looking forward to it", he said of his imminent death.

In his final hours at the Basel clinic, Prof Goodall enjoyed his favourite dinner: fish and chips and cheesecake.

Goodall took his life with an intravenous drip of pentobarbital, a chemical often used as an anesthetic but which is lethal in excessive doses.

His last words before losing consciousness were: 'This is taking an awfully long time.' He died at 12.30pm in Liestal where he took advantage of Swiss assisted-suicide laws.

"In 1998 ECU appointed him as an Honorary Research Associate (and was later appointed an Honorary Research Fellow), a role he held up until his passing". According to Exit International, he didn't want any funeral, remembrance service or ceremony, as he had "no belief" in life after death.

Once named Australia's oldest working scientist, Goodall wished for his body to be donated to medicine or, alternatively, that his ashes be sprinkled locally. Mr. Goodall did not believe in the afterlife, the organization said.

Sky's Michelle Clifford said police and coroner officials would now need to visit the clinic to make sure the assisted suicide was carried out properly.

"The infusion started to drip as he activated the process - he had to do that himself - after answering questions which said he knew who he was, where he was and what he was about to do, and he answered these questions with great clarity", Nitschke told Reuters after Goodall's death.

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