Switzerland Approves Assisted ‘Suicide Capsule’

International exit
Switzerland has just legalized a new way of dying by assisted suicide. The country's medical review board has just given approval to use the Sarco Suicide Pod, a 3D-printed portable coffin-like capsule with windows that can be transported to a quiet place for the final moments of a person's life.
Traditional methods of assisted suicidality generally involve a chemical substance. Inventor Philip Nitschke from Exit International told the website SwissInfo.ch that his "death capsule" offers a different approach. "We want to remove any form of psychiatric review from the process and allow individuals to control the method for themselves," he said. “Our goal is to develop a screening system with artificial intelligence to determine the mental performance of the person. The skepticism is of course great, especially on the part of the psychiatrists. "
The capsule can be activated from within and offers the dying person various options of where they want to be for their last moments. "The machine can be towed anywhere for death," he said. "This can be, for example, in an idyllic setting outdoors or in the premises of a suicide helper."
To qualify to use the Pod, the person who wants to die must complete an online survey designed to prove whether they are making the decision on their own initiative. If they pass, they will be given the Pod's location and an access code.
Inside, the person who wants to end their life has to answer pre-recorded questions and press a button that starts the process of flooding the interior with nitrogen, quickly reducing the oxygen level inside from 21 percent to 1 percent. "The person will get into the capsule and lie down," he said, adding, "It's very comfortable."
He said the person is likely to feel disoriented or euphoric. “It takes about 30 seconds,” he said. “Death occurs through hypoxia and hypocapnia, oxygen or carbon dioxide withdrawal. There is no panic, no suffocation. "
In 2020, around 1,300 people died from assisted suicide in Switzerland, almost all of them from ingesting liquid sodium pentobarbital, which puts a patient into a deep coma before killing them. Assisted suicide is also legal in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Canada.
The Sarco Suicide Pod should be ready for use in 2022. The company made three prototypes, but one was not "aesthetically pleasing" so it is said not to be used. The company has not yet announced how much it will cost to use the service.
If you or a loved one is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by sending TALK at 741741.
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Philip Nitschke
Australian doctor

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