WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
Sometimes people want to pass over to the next place but the law and technology doesn’t make it easy or painless for them, now there’s a literal suicide booth to help …
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If you’ve ever watched Futurama you’ll have seen that in the future there are suicide booths. Peddle backwards to today and we now have said suicide booths in all but name, expect today they’re called Euthanasia Pods and the Swiss government has made them legal to use, but obviously under certain conditions.
In the past I’ve talked about the different ways that people are trying to live forever, which includes everything from re-incarnating yourself in digital form, to freezing yourself cryogenically, to having someone clone your physical body from a DNA sample and uploading your consciousness … So I now find it odd to be talking not about life extension but life reduction.
As Swissinfo reported last month, the “3D printed coffin” in question passed the national legal review and may be used from 2022 for euthanasia.
Courtesy: Exit International
The 3D printed “Sarco” pod was developed by Australian company Exit International in 2017, and had two prototypes available across Europe. A third prototype is currently being produced in the Netherlands.
The idea behind the technology is the founder’s vision to help terminally ill patients put an end to their suffering and allow them to have a comparably ‘peaceful’ death.
Instead of taking ‘liquid sodium pentobarbital’, the traditional way for euthanasia, the capsule technology requires the patient with incurable or a terminal condition to get into the capsule, lie down and activate the mechanism by pressing a button.
Within 30 seconds, nitrogen is released in the interior while oxygen is rapidly reduced – in doing so, the patient will quickly lose consciousness and experience no panic or choking, instead feeling euphoric or relaxed. Death then occurs through the deprivation of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
As the manufacturer states, it is possible to carry out the procedure in a place of choice, for example outside.
Exit International campaigns for the right to suicide and assisted suicide, and currently, assisted suicide is only legal in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada and Columbia with different requirements and rules in each country.
According to Business Insider, there were around 7,000 assisted suicide cases in the Netherlands in 2020, with a growth of nine per cent compared to the previous year, and in Switzerland a total of 1,300 people chose assisted suicide in 2020 according to Swissinfo.
“The benefit for the person who uses it is that they don’t have to get any permission, they don’t need some special doctor to try and get a needle in, and they don’t need to get difficult drugs to obtain”, stated Dr Philipp Nitschke, the Australian founder of Exit International during a showcase event.