104-Year-Old Scientist Dies Voluntarily After Hearing 'Ode to Joy' One Final Time

Assisted suicide
A noted ecologist and botanist, 104-year-old David Goodall reportedly took his final breaths as the song he chose, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," came to a close. Getty

An Australian scientist, whose recent journey to Switzerland to end his own life made worldwide headlines, has died.

A noted ecologist and botanist, 104-year-old David Goodall reportedly took his final breaths as the song he chose, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," came to a close.

The grandfather of 12 was pronounced dead at 12:30 p.m. local time Thursday, according to the right-to-die organization Life Circle in the Swiss city of Basel.

He reportedly died after enjoying his favorite meal of fish and chips and cheesecake.

While not terminally ill, Goodall told reporters from across the globe that he had simply stopped enjoying life at his advanced age.

"I am glad to arrive," he said from a wheelchair at a French airport Monday as he neared his final destination. "The message I would like to send is: Once one passes the age of 50 or 60, one should be free to decide for oneself, whether one wants to go on living or not."

Goodall wanted his decision to send a message to legislators who he hopes will one day legalize assisted suicide in places like Australia.

He had expressed frustration about not being as free or as mobile in his later years as he once was.

"At my age, I get up in the morning. I eat breakfast. And then I just sit until lunchtime. Then I have a bit of lunch and just sit. What's the use of that?" he told CNN while wearing a shirt bearing the words "Aging Disgracefully."

Switzerland is one of only two countries, along with Colombia, that allows foreigners to enter the country for assisted suicide.

In the U.S., seven states and the District of Columbia extend the right of physician-assisted suicide to Americans, according to ProCon.org.

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