The British scientist who regretted living to 104 years and opted for euthanasia, has died in a Swiss clinic surrounded by family and the sound of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
Dr David Goodall’s last words just before he was injected with a lethal dose of a sleeping drug was, “This is taking an awful long time.”
He died at the Swiss suicide clinic at 11.30am on Thursday morning, medical staff at the facility in Liestal, near Basel, Switzerland, confirmed.
The world-renowned botanist died within two minutes of being injected. Six family members wept by his bedside and, in accordance with his final wishes, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy played on an iPad.
Dr Goodall’s last words came after he was unable to work the wheel to start the flow of the drug, and a switch had to be inserted into the intravenous line. This meant that a doctor had to repeat a series of questions before the procedure could take place, which was when he uttered his last words.
Dr Goodall’s had his favorite meal of fish and chips and cheesecake for his last supper. He had the meal at his hotel in Basel last night, as friends and family, who have flown in to support him and say their goodbyes, toasted to his last evening on earth. Then, this morning, just before 11am, the scientist, who spent most of his life in Australia, arrived at the clinic in Switzerland.
As his family gathered around a table to fill in official forms, the 104-year-old could be heard saying; “What are we waiting for?”
Dr Philip Nitschke, who was by Dr Goodall’s bedside as he took his own life, revealed the scientist’s last moments to Mail Online.
Dr Nitschke, from pro-euthanasia Group Exit International, said: “It is the first time I have heard someone say it’s taking a long time when the drug is intravenous, but David was quite impatient for it to be over.”
Before the drug was administered, Dr Goodall was asked four questions by a doctor overseeing the procedure. Dr Goodall was asked to say his name, his date of birth and why he was at the clinic.
On the final question he was asked what would happen to him, he replied quickly: “I hope my heart stops.”
There was a slight hitch in the procedure when the 104-year-old was unable to operate a wheel that would send the lethal drug into his body. He could not twist the wheel and so doctors gave him a switch to flick and send the Nembutal coursing through his body. As soon as the switch was flicked, Ode to Joy began playing in the room. Dr Goodall closed his eyes and was certified dead by a doctor.
Dr Nitschke added: “He was a little impatient and just wanted to get on with it, but in the end he did get his wish. He was told it would be a peaceful death and it was. He had his sense of humour right up to the end. He was very pleased to hear the music.”
Dr Goodall will be cremated in Switzerland and his ashes flown back to his family in Perth, Australia.