Switzerland has just legalized a new way to die by assisted suicide. The country’s medical review board just approved the Sarco Suicide Pod, a 3-D printed portable coffin-like capsule with a window that can be transported to a quiet place for the final moments of life. of a person.
Common assisted suicide methods often involve a chemical substance. Inventor Philip Nitschke of Exit International told SwissInfo.ch website that his “death pit” offers a different approach. “We wanted to remove any form of psychiatric assessment from the process and allow the individual to control the method for himself,” he said. “Our aim is to develop an artificial intelligence screening system to establish a person’s mental capacity. Naturally there is a lot of skepticism, especially on the part of psychiatrists.”
The Pod can be activated from the inside and can give the dying person a variety of options for where they want to be in their final moments. “The machine can be dragged anywhere for death,” he said. “For example, it could be in an idyllic outdoor setting or on the premises of a suicide support organization.”
To qualify for a pod, a person wishing to die must respond to an online survey to demonstrate whether they are making their own decisions. If they pass, they will be notified of the shell’s location and given an access code.
Once inside, people intending to end their lives will have to answer pre-recorded questions and press a button that will start the process of flooding the interior with nitrogen, which will quickly lower oxygen levels. inside from 21 percent to 1 percent. “The person would get in the compartment and lie down,” he said, adding, “It was very comfortable.”
The person may feel disoriented or euphoric, he said. “The whole thing happened in about 30 seconds,” he said. “Death was caused by hypoxia and decreased CO2, lack of oxygen and carbon dioxide respectively. No panic, no choking. ”
In 2020, about 1,300 people die by assisted suicide in Switzerland, most of them by ingesting liquid sodium pentobarbital, which puts patients in a deep coma before killing them. Assisted suicide is also legal in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Canada.
The Sarco Suicide Pod is expected to be operational in 2022. The company has made three prototypes, but one isn’t “aesthetically pleasing” so it won’t be used. The company has not yet announced how much it costs to use the service.
If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Message Line crisis by texting TALK to 741741.
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