Biologist, 104, ends life to Beethoven's Ode To Joy

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The man arrived at euthanasia from Australia.

On Wednesday, Goodall told a crowded news conference that medically assisted suicide should be more widely available. He says he possibly will die by lethal injection, but that he would defer to doctors on the method.

Beethoven's 9th Symphony was played in the room at the suicide clinic in Liestal, near Basel, as he took the fatal overdose of the sleeping drug.

Goodall "died peacefully" in Basel, tweeted Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International, the organisation which helped Goodall make the journey from Australia.

Goodall was apparently eager to begin the process of ending his life on Thursday morning, reportedly quipping, "What are we waiting for?" as his family completed the necessary paperwork.

Four family members and a close friend had travelled to be at his side when he ended his life.

"My abilities have been in decline over the past year or two, my eyesight over the past six years", he said. He added: "I no longer want to continue life".

About a year ago, his condition worsened and the scientist said that it's time for him to die.

Dr Goodall was accompanied by some of his grandchildren, it is understood.

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According to Swiss law meanwhile, anyone who is of sound mind and who has over a period of time voiced a consistent wish to end their life can request so-called assisted voluntary death, or AVD.

The Swiss Academy of Medical Science has come out in favor of extending physician-assisted suicide to people living with intolerable pain even if they are not terminally ill, the Swiss newspaper Le Matin Dimanche reported on Sunday.

Born in England in 1914, Goodall became interested in science at a young age, first studying chemistry and then biology at St Pauls School in London.

Goodall was an honorary research associate at Edith Cowan University in Perth, and was the editor-in-chief of the multi-volume Ecosystems of the World in 1979.

Goodall asked not to have a funeral or remembrance service. "David has no belief in the afterlife". "I'm happy that this period beforehand has been used to interview me, and I've brought the ideas of euthanasia to light". It's not sad particularly. What is sad is if one is prevented.

In Switzerland, assisted suicide is allowed only if the person assisting acts unselfishly.

Assisted suicide is legal in a handful of countries, including Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands but only applies to their own residents who have incurable diseases.

He cited a lack of mobility, doctor's restrictions and an Australian law prohibiting him from taking his own life among his complaints, but he was not ill.