Botanist and ecologist David Goodall ended his life May 10 in Switzerland by assisted suicide, a procedure which he had long advocated legalizing in his home country of Australia.
Goodall, 104, told journalists that he “looked forward” to ending his life and regretted not having ended it sooner, though he is not terminally ill. He also said he regretted that he had to travel all the way to Switzerland commit suicide.
Australia’s Victoria state has passed an assisted suicide law that will go into effect in 2019, but it only allows for terminally ill patients to end their lives – Goodall would not have qualified under the law.
Critics have said that Goodall’s death was not simply a personal choice, but a political one that could have devastating consequences on vulnerable populations such as the elderly, the poor, and the disabled.