May 17, 2018

The right to die and the right to live

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law, life extension

Somewhat paradoxically, euthanasia and life extension share a common goal—ending pointless suffering.

On May 10 this year, Australian ecologist David Goodall took his own life before aging could. The scientist, aged 104, reportedly said he “regretted” having reached that age, because the quality of his life had significantly deteriorated as a consequence of his declining health. Unhappy with his condition, though not suffering from any terminal disease—except for aging itself—Goodall opted to end his life through assisted suicide. As the practice is currently not allowed in Australia, he flew with friends and family all the way to a clinic in Switzerland, where he flipped a switch and administered his own lethal injection while listening to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Interestingly, the cost of his trip to Switzerland was covered with money collected through a crowdfunding campaign.

A matter of rights

Goodall was a lifelong supporter of euthanasia, and both he and his fellows from Exit International—a non-profit organization advocating the legalization of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide—said that people should have the right to die with dignity when they feel the time has come.

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