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104 Year-Old Australian Scientist Dies By Assisted Suicide

Australia's oldest scientist David Goodall is expected to be cremated in Switzerland where he died from assisted suicide aged 104.

Professor Goodall took his own life on Thursday at a clinic near Basel, to the strains of Beethoven's final symphony and surrounded by family.

He did not have a terminal illness but his quality of life had deteriorated in recent years.

He could not end his life in Australia, where assisted suicide is not legal, so took a one-way ticket from Perth to France last week to see relatives before arriving in Switzerland, where it is permitted.

Philip Nitschke, founder of right-to-die group Exit International, said Prof Goodall showed humour and a twinge of impatience in his final moments as formalities were tended to, uttering the last words: "This is taking a long time".

"During the paperwork, he said 'what are we waiting for?' Dr Nitschke told AAP.

"His final words were 'this is taking a long time'.

"He'd been told that everything would be very quick and in some ways, there had been a few delays."

Dr Nitschke said Prof Goodall's death was peaceful.

He said it was very likely the esteemed ecologist would be cremated in Switzerland, with his ashes to remain in the country, while his family in Perth are expected to hold a memorial in coming months.

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

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

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