"No more words. I'm going now."
These are the last words of Troy Thornton, an Australian firefighter who died in a Swiss euthanasia clinic on Friday (NZ time) after battling multiple system atrophy.
Just hours before his death, the 54-year-old had a powerful message for Australian politicians and the public, urging them to think about how people should be able to end their lives.
- Enough doctors support euthanasia to make it work
- Euthanasia advocate Bobbie Carroll fights for peaceful death
- 20 years of research finds most New Zealanders in favour of euthanasia
Mr Thornton faced difficult decision after realising he wouldn't meet the criteria for Victoria's voluntary assisted dying laws as he was unable to find doctors who would say he would die from his disease within 12 months.
As a result, he faced dying as a "vegetable" over several years from his disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with no prospect of recovery.
"What the guy in the street doesn't understand is that those laws don't help people like me who are also suffering. These laws need to evolve," he told AAP.
"The focus on being terminal is wrong. It's about the right to choose how you die, no matter how old you are, no matter what sickness, or non-sickness you've got. If you are of sound mind - and that's important - you should be able to choose."
He would have preferred to have passed away in Melbourne, with his family. Instead he said goodbye to his son Jack, 17, and daughter Laura, 14 before travelling to Switzerland.
"The hardest thing I've ever had to do is say goodbye to them. It just destroyed me," he told AAP.
"But I am lucky I've got my wife here. And I'm fortunate I have the means to do this. There are so many people that die a pretty bad death because they don't have the means to go to Switzerland."
He urged Australians to stand up for the right to make their own end of life choices.
"When it's our life, we should have control. We should be able to choose if we are of sound mind. That's what I'd like to say."