Friday, May 4, 2018

Death with dignity: David Goodall flies from Australia to Switzerland

The Australian has the story:
Professor David Goodall, 104, prepares to die in Switzerland

"Australia’s oldest working scientist and prominent euthanasia campaigner David Goodall will access a Swiss voluntary euthanasia scheme weeks after securing a fast-tracked appointment with a Basel-based agency which assists people to die.

"The botanist, ecologist and Emeritus Professor who celebrated his 104th Birthday in April, received news last week that he had secured an appointment with pro-euthanasia group Life Circle and assisted dying expert Dr Erika Preisig in Basel for early May.

"Dr Goodall is not terminally ill but has poor eyesight and declining mobility. In evidence submitted to a Western Australian parliamentary inquiry on end of life options, he said that his quality of life had deteriorated and he wanted to access an assisted dying program.

"Dr Goodall is now at the centre of a crowd-funding push organised by local pro-euthanasia group Exit International to raise $15,000 to upgrade his fares to business class so he can travel to Basel in relative comfort.

"The campaign has already exceeded the $15,000 target and volunteers running the campaign have told The Australian his seats have now been upgraded and tickets booked."

Here's the Washington Post story:
A scientist just turned 104. His birthday wish is to die.

"“I greatly regret having reached that age. I would much prefer to be 20 or 30 years younger,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. When asked whether he had a nice birthday, he told the news organization: “No, I’m not happy. I want to die. ... It’s not sad, particularly. What is sad is if one is prevented.”

“My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights, including the right of assisted suicide,” the 104-year-old added.
"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.
"In most countries, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide are illegal. However, a handful of nations — including Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands — have legalized one or both of the practices, according to the nonprofit group For years, Australia has banned such practices, but in November, the state of Victoria became the first to pass a euthanasia bill, which, by summer 2019, will allow terminally ill patients to end their lives.
"In the United States, only six states — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state — and Washington, D.C., have death-with-dignity laws for terminally ill patients.

"Goodall does not have a terminal illness.

"The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported [in 2016] that after nearly two decades on the campus, Goodall was told to leave amid concerns about his well-being. The incident gained international media attention, with Goodall, then 102, calling it ageism in the workplace.

“It’s depressed me; it shows the effect of age. The question would not have arisen if I were not an old man,” he told the news organization at the time.

"University officials later reversed their decision.

"But Goodall said his health is declining.

"He told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that several months ago he fell down in his apartment in Perth and, for two days, he lay on the floor until his housekeeper found him.
"Goodall said he believes it is time for him to die, but his country’s new legislation is of no use to him because it applies only to those who are terminally ill."

And he's on his way:
David Goodall en route to Europe after emotional goodbye with family
AT THE age of 104, professor David Goodall has said goodbye to his family before boarding a flight to Europe to end his life.   AAP MAY 4, 2018

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