104-year-old Scientist David Goodall Dies by Lethal Injection in Switzerland: 'It Is My Own Choice to End My Life'

Professor David Goodall had a meeting with death on Thursday—and he was looking forward to it.

The 104-year-old scientist, an accomplished botanist and ecologist, had long been a member of the organization Exit International, an international nonprofit group advocating for the legalization of euthanasia. The organization was founded by Dr. Philip Nitschke, who ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to ensure Goodall's last journey would be a comfortable one.

The organization announced David had died surrounded by his grandchildren and staff of the Swiss Life Circle/Eternal Spirit Foundation, describing how the procedure took place in a press release on Thursday.

"As he elected to receive a lethal injection, Dr Christian Weber administered a cannula to David's arm. David turned the wheel to allow the solution to flow," the statement said. "David fell asleep within a few minutes and died a short time afterwards at around 12.30 p.m. (6.30 a.m. EST)."

David Goodall, 104, reacts during a news conference a day before he intends to take his own life in assisted suicide, in Basel, Switzerland May 9, 2018. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

Goodall traveled to Europe last week to say goodbye to his relatives, who live in France, before heading to the Swiss city of Basel on Tuesday, where he planned to end his life thanks to the country's law on assisted suicide for "non-selfish" reasons.

The professor held a press conference on Wednesday explaining his decision. "At my age, and even at less than my age, one wants to be free to choose the death when the death is the appropriate time," Goodall said, as quoted by Reuters.

"I don't feel that anyone else's choice is involved. It's my own choice to end my life tomorrow and I look forward to that and I'm grateful to the Swiss nation to make that possible," he added, expressing optimism his story would help forward the cause he was so passionate about.

"David Goodall is exactly the sort of member that Exit is made of and is proud of," Dr. Nitschke said in a statement, adding: "It was a wonderful experience to know him and be so intimately involved in his final weeks of life. Especially after David's 20-odd years of membership of Exit International."

Once named Australia's oldest working scientist, Goodall wished for his body to be donated to medicine or, alternatively, that his ashes be sprinkled locally. According to Exit International, he didn't want any funeral, remembrance service or ceremony, as he had "no belief" in life after death.