Switzerland might be the first country to approve the use of a suicide pod

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Switzerland might be the first country to approve the use of a suicide pod
Exit International has developed two prototypes of Sarco, and the third capsule is expected to be ready for use in 2022.Exit International via Swiss Info
  • An Australia-based nonprofit has 3D printed a capsule for assisted suicide in Switzerland.
  • The ‘Sarco’ capsule is designed to be comfortable and peaceful.
  • It can be activated by the person inside and the capsule can be towed anywhere.
Content and trigger warning: This article has mentions of suicide and death, which some readers may find disturbing.

Switzerland has reportedly approved the use of a suicide pod called the Sarco capsule. Sarco is a 3D-printed capsule that has been developed by Australia-based international nonprofit Exit International.

The Sarco capsule can be activated by the person sitting inside it, and it can be easily towed anywhere, according to a report by SwissInfo. The coffin-like pod is designed to be “very comfortable”, Dr Philip Nitschke founder of Exit International, said in an interview with SwissInfo. The person will lie down inside the capsule and they will be asked a couple of questions, and after which they will be given time to press the button to activate the process.

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Assisted suicide in Switzerland

A suicide pod may sound shocking and scary but assisted suicide is actually legal in Switzerland, and around 1,300 people have died through this method where the person is injected liquid sodium pentobarbital. Here, the person falls asleep within two to five minutes, then falls into a deep coma and dies. What Exit International wants to do is provide a more comfortable and peaceful death through the Sarco capsule.

How does it work

Once the button is pressed, the capsule will be flooded with nitrogen which will decrease the oxygen level to 1% from 21% in around 30 seconds. “The person will feel a little disoriented and may feel slightly euphoric before they lose consciousness,” Nitschke explained in the interview with SwissInfo. After losing consciousness, death would occur around 5-10 minutes later, he added. During the whole process, the person inside won’t feel any panic or choking feeling, according to Nitschke.

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Exit International has developed two prototypes of Sarco, and a third one is currently being 3D printed in the Netherlands. The third Sarco machine is expected to be ready for use in Switzerland by 2022.

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