Perth doctors threatening to stop scientist’s voluntary euthanasia bid

David Goodall. Photo: Martin Kennealey.
David Goodall. Photo: Martin Kennealey.

DOCTORS in Perth are threatening to stop Australia’s oldest scientist flying to Switzerland to end his life through voluntary euthanasia.

Edith Cowan University honorary research associate David Goodall doesn’t have a terminal illness but his quality of life has deteriorated at age 104.

Accompanied by a nurse, he plans to fly on Wednesday from Perth to France, where he’ll visit family in Bordeaux, then end his journey in Basel on May 10.

Euthanasia campaigner Philip Nitschke said Professor Goodall attempted suicide about two months ago after suffering a fall, ended up in hospital and his daughter had to fight hard to get him out – only succeeding after arranging an independent psychiatric review.

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Dr Nitschke said Prof Goodall was keen to leave the country after the hospital experience.

“He said ‘enough is enough – now’s the time to die’,” Dr Nitschke said.

And now the doctors who treated him are threatening to prevent him from leaving Australia, arguing he’s a danger to himself and not fit to travel, which “the airline would respond to”, Dr Nitschke said.

“I don’t know whether they would be successful or whether it’s just a threat.

“It’s worrying the hell out of David and his daughter.”

Dr Nitschke urged the doctors to “back off”.

Marshall Perron, the former Northern Territory chief minister who introduced Australia’s first voluntary euthanasia legislation, said it was tragic Prof Goodall couldn’t have his wishes met at home.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

– AAP