Philip Nitschke has developed a technological capsule called Sarco, which should help so-called assisted suicide. The capsule is printed on a 3D printer and could be put into service as soon as 2022. The deadly device should be fully mobile and would take its “users” out of this world in minutes, using nitrogen, writes the site of the BBC. The doctor nicknamed “Doctor Death” wants to “demedicalize the process of death”.
Australian doctor Philip Nitschke, who lives in the Netherlands, tried to find a way to end his life on his own and in a place the person liked. That’s why he developed a tech capsule that provides a “comfortable, painless, and dignified ending.”
Euthanasia, at one’s own request, is illegal and prohibited in many countries. Switzerland is one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal. Specialist clinics performed around 1,300 assisted suicides here last year. Clients of these clinics are usually people who have lost the ability to control their bodies due to illness or injury, who suffer from unbearable pain or other health complications.
I don’t know why in the BBC report ‘plans to launch a suicide pod’ suddenly became ‘plans to sell a suicide pod’… but just to be clear, the Sarco plans are free, not sold, and launch is in Switzerland…full explanation on BBC World Service in AM.. https://t.co/q37dicaHmK
– Philip Nitschke (@philipnitschke)
December 9, 2021
Sodium pentobarbital is typically used for killing, which slows brain activity and dulls the nervous system, writes CzechCrunch. This injection renders the user unconscious and results in death. However, the injection must be done by another person. However, this may change with the introduced Sarco case.
The capsule can be taken wherever the person wishes to leave the world. It is sealed in a capsule, which closes tightly, and its interior begins to fill with nitrogen, reducing the oxygen in the space to 1% within half a minute. “Before losing consciousness, he will feel a little disoriented and may experience a slight euphoria. Death is due to lack of oxygen.” describes Nitschke. The suicide module is activated from the inside, it also has an emergency button to cancel the action and death should occur within 5-10 minutes.
The law and the “suicide capsule”
Sarco also has a “green light” from a legal expert who has confirmed that the machine does not violate any laws in Switzerland, which other lawyers have questioned. Assisted suicide Dignitas said the capsule was unlikely to meet with a “warm reception”.
Daniel Huerlimann, a lawyer and assistant professor at the Swiss University of St. Gallena, Sarco was asked to investigate whether the use of the suicide module would violate a Swiss law.
He told the BBC the case “did not constitute a medical device” and was therefore not covered by the Therapeutic Products Act. He believes this will not conflict with any laws governing nitrogen use, weapons or product safety. “This means that the case is not subject to Swiss law,” he concludes.
Kerstin Noelle Vkinger, a doctor, lawyer and professor at the University of Zurich, told Swiss newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung that “medical devices are regulated because they are considered safer than other products. Just because a product is unsafe doesn’t mean these additional safety requirements don’t apply to it,” he adds.
The “suicide” company Dignitas also commented on the novelty. Thanks to two Swiss companies, 35 years of Exit and 23 years of Dignitas, Switzerland has a great experience of professional suicide. Including trained staff and collaboration with doctors. “In the light of a long-established, safe and extremely professional practice, one cannot imagine that a suicide capsule could be successful in Switzerland”, estimates Dignitas.
If the machine is approved for use in Switzerland, the capsules will not be sold in the traditional way. Nitschke said he would make plans and proposals available to everyone free of charge. The user then has the capsule printed according to the drawings using 3D printing technology. Nitschke wants to get rid of doctors at the site of euthanasia and intends to “demedicalize the process of dying”.
“We want to remove any psychiatric control from the process and allow the individual to perform the method themselves,” adds Nitschke, nicknamed “Doctor Death.” At the same time, there are three prototypes of the module, which also drew a wave of criticism for its futuristic design to “enchant suicide”.