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Australian scientist, 104, heads to Switzerland to end life

David Goodall is not terminally ill, but says his quality of life has deteriorated and is seeking "voluntary euthanasia."

by Associated Press /
Image: Australian 104-old academic David Goodall departs for Switzerland for voluntary euthanasia
Australian scientist David Goodall, left, bids farewell to his grandson at Perth Airport in Australia on Wednesday.Sophie Moore / EPA

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GENEVA — A right-to-die activist says a 104-year-old Australian scientist is on his way to Switzerland to end his life through assisted dying.

Supporters of renowned academic David Goodall had expressed fears that Australian officials would prevent him from traveling to Europe.

Image: Australian 104-old academic David Goodall departs for Switzerland for voluntary euthanasia
David GoodallExit International / EPA

Goodall is not terminally ill, but is seeking what he calls "voluntary euthanasia" on the grounds that his quality of life has deteriorated. Swiss law permits assisted suicide, including for foreigners. The practice is illegal in Australia.

Activist Philip Nitschke says Goodall started making his way to Switzerland on Wednesday with a flight from Perth to Singapore.

At the airport, Goodall told Australia's ABC television that he has long supported allowing people to choose when to die, saying: "I'm sorry that I have to travel to Switzerland in order to execute it."

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