David Goodall, a well-known scientist in Australia, says that he will travel to Switzerland this month and end his life with the assistance of an aid-in-dying organization. The announcement has reignited discussion on the concerns surrounding physician-assisted suicide and its slippery slope.
“No, I’m not happy. I want to die,” Goodall told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC News) when asked if he had a nice birthday last month.
Goodall, stated to be the country’s oldest scientist, turned 104. He said that he regrets making it to that age. The reasons? His eyesight is failing and he needs to be assisted when crossing the street or taking public transportation. He can’t play tennis or perform in theater like he used to into his 90’s, and most of his friends have died.
“Once one is past the stage of middle life, one has paid back to society the debts that have been paid out. One should be free to use the rest of his life as one chooses,” Goodall told the outlet. “If one chooses to kill oneself then that’s fair enough. I don’t think anyone else should interfere.”
Therefore, the botanist and ecologist plans to travel to Switzerland this month and end his life with the aid of Exit International. He’s been a member of the group for 20 years and wants Australia to legalize assisted suicide.
Goodall isn’t only talking about euthanasia of those with a terminal disease. He’s referring to elderly people like himself who don’t like the aspects that come with aging and believe they’ve had enough.
“My feeling is that an old person like myself should have full citizenship rights, including the right of assisted suicide,” he stated.
Other than his failing eyesight and his dependency on others for assistance, Goodall’s health is “quite good,” ABC reports.
The founder of Exit International, Philip Nitschke, launched a fundraising effort on April 22 for the scientist to travel to Switzerland to die. The fundraiser met its $15,000 goal in nine days, and as of press time, continues to surpass it.
“Having celebrated his 104th birthday in early April, David has decided now is the time to go. Indeed, if his plans had gone accordingly, this birthday would not have happened and he would not be in the dilemma he now finds himself,” the page reads.
Nitschke argues that while West Australia is considering a law that would allow the terminally ill to end their lives, it is “discriminatory” and of “limited value” because it does not include healthy people like Goodall who just want to die.
“The situation of Professor Goodall drives home the absolute limited value of an end of life law that is based solely upon a person’s health status. As Dr. Philip Nitschke argued in his presentation to the WA Parliamentary Committee in April, it is totally unacceptable for a law to discriminate between the sick and everyone else,” the fundraiser asserts.
“Forcing the ‘well’ elderly to travel overseas is exporting a problem, rather than addressing a growing social need. Shame!” Nitschke claims.
However, Alex Schadenberg of the Canada-based Euthanasia Prevention Coalition told Christian News Network that the matter is just another angle utilized by assisted suicide lobbyists to normalize death rather than giving people help and hope.
“Sadly, the David Goodall story is part of the world-wide campaign to promote the legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide. The fact that he is 104 years-old is an attempt by the euthanasia lobby to promote killing people because they are elderly and want to die,” he said.
“The human reality of this story is that it shows us how the euthanasia lobby and mentality abandons people at their time of need,” Schadenberg added. “Rather than suggesting that Mr. Goodall be cared for, visited and appreciated by his family and friends, they are using his feeling that his life lacks value to promote killing.”
Scripture outlines that God, not man, appoints the days of mankind (Job 14:5), and even before a person is born, He writes their times in His book.
“In Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them,” Psalm 139:16 reads.