David Goodall
Australian scientist David Goodall attends a press conference, on the eve of his assisted suicide in Basel, Switzerland, May 9 2018. Getty Images/ SEBASTIEN BOZON

David Goodall, 104, an Australian man, plans to end his own life with the option of a medical assisted suicide in Switzerland.

Goodall, a British-born ecologist, said he was an advocate for assisted suicide and believes the process should be made legal everywhere.

“I greatly regret having reached that age,” Goodall said in an interview earlier this month, the Guardian reported. “I’m not happy. I want to die. It’s not sad particularly. What is sad is if one is prevented."

Although assisted suicide is legal in some countries, Switzerland is the only place which accepts foreign nationals for the life-ending process. Lifecircle, a small assisted suicide advocacy group based in Basel, is a medical facility that tends to non-Swiss people too.

“Lifecircle is committed to the dignity of mankind as well as to self-determination in difficult circumstances and at the end of life,” the association’s website reads.

It further added: “Lifecircle affirms life and therefore offers no assisted suicide. Therefore, the association works together with the Eternal SPIRIT Foundation to help people whose suffering has become unbearable, to have the opportunity to decide for themselves about their life and death, by going into an assisted voluntary death.”

The foundation is dedicated to making “assisted voluntary death” legal in all countries across the globe. In order to achieve this, it works with medical clinics which support and facilitate assisted suicide, Lifecircle being one of them. Patients wishing to opt for assisted death can approach the clinics, which then forwards the applications to the foundation. After thoroughly analyzing each application, it is either approved or rejected.

Furthermore, according to My Death — My Decision, the patient does not have to be terminally ill or have to meet certain life expectancy limits for a Swiss doctor to aid in assisted suicide by prescribing a lethal medication. He or she, however, “must be suffering intolerably from a severe illness, and have a medical diagnosis which is documented by doctors and/or clinicians reports.”

During the vetting process, however, medical experts do make sure the patient is of sound mental health, is not depressed and is acting of his or her own free will and not under the pressure of someone else.

Goodall meets all the requirements for seeking an assisted death, despite the fact that he is not terminally ill. He simply has some troubles with hearing, vision and mobility — issues that comes naturally with advancing age.

"At my age, and even at rather less than my age, one wants to be free to choose the death and when the death is the appropriate time. My abilities have been declining over the past year or two, and my eyesight for the past five or six years, and I no longer want to continue life," Goodall said in a press conference, Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported. "I am happy to have the chance tomorrow to end it."

He even selected the kind of song he would like to listen to when he is on his death bed — Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Making light of the morbid situation, Goodall, even sang a few lines of the song in German for the reporters at the conference.

Meanwhile, not everyone is thrilled with the growing number of patients who have successfully terminated their lives via assisted death in Switzerland. According to the statistics, the number has increased from 297 in 2009 to 965 in 2015.

Basel City Councilwoman Annemarie Pfeifer is a leading critic of Lifecircle and believes the option of assisted death available for people who are not terminally ill could eventually end up pressurizing infirm elderly to end their lives.

"We must be very careful with life," she said. "It's not good for my city if Basel has a reputation as a city of death."