Suicide pods now legal in Switzerland, providing users with a painless death

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Switzerland is giving the green light to so-called “suicide capsules” – 3-D printed pods that allow people to choose the location where they want to die an assisted death.

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The country’s medical review board announced the legalization of Sarco Suicide Pods This week. These can be operated from inside by the user.

The developer of pods and . Founder of Dr. Philipp Nitschke Exit International, a pro-euthanasia group told that the machines “taken anywhere to death“And one of the most positive features of capsules is that they can be carried in a “delightful outdoor setting.”


Currently, assisted suicide in Switzerland means swallowing a capsule filled with a cocktail of controlled substances that plunges the person into a deep coma before dying.

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but Sarco Pods – short for sarcophagus – allows a person to control their own death inside the pod by quickly lowering internal oxygen levels. A person intending to end his life is required to answer a set of pre-recorded questions, then press a button that fills the interior with nitrogen. The oxygen level inside drops rapidly from 21 percent to one percent.

After death, the pod can be used as a coffin.

“We want to remove any form of psychological review from the process and allow the individual to control the method themselves,” Nitschke said. “Our aim is Develop an artificial intelligence screening system To establish the mental capacity of the individual. Naturally, there is a lot of skepticism, especially on the part of psychiatrists.”

“The benefits for the person using it are that they don’t need to get a permit, they don’t need a special doctor to try the needle, and they don’t need to get hard drugs,” Nitske said at a Sarco demonstration last year.

Nitschke said that his mode of death is painless, and that the person would feel slight disorientation and/or euphoria before losing consciousness.

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He said there are only two capsule prototypes in existence, but a third machine is now being printed, and he expects the method to become available to the Swiss public next year.

one in 2018 Personal Essay for HuffPost, Nitschke said that his focus in the field of assisted suicide has shifted over the years “to support the concept of a good death for any rational adult who has a ‘life experience’ (the human rights model). “

“From time to time, we look to the comfort and reassurance that comes from knowing that one has an ‘exit plan,’ so to speak, within reach, should there ever be a need. From being in control It gives confidence. It restores a sense of self. And, yes, it instills dignity in living, knowing that there will be dignity in dying too,” he wrote.

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Nitschke said that those who would not use the capsule any kind of suffocation or suffocation in a low oxygen environment. Instead, they will “feel their best.”

Assisted suicide is also legal in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Canada.

Nearly 7,600 Canadians received medical help to end their lives last year, continuing the trend of a steady annual increase in cases since the procedure was legalized in 2016.

This is up 17 percent from the 5,631 assisted deaths in 2019, a number that was a 26 percent increase from the previous year.

Justice Officer Joan Klineberg told the Canadian press earlier this year that the number of cases is likely to rise again as a result of a recently passed law that expands access to assisted death for those who have lost their lives. are not close to the natural end of.

She said cancer was the most commonly cited disease associated with assisted death requests in Canada last year, while the most cited manifestations of suffering were an inability to engage in meaningful activities or perform activities of daily living.

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Most applicants who died of assisted living had received or had access to palliative care, but felt that their own suffering could not be overcome by that or other medical interventions, she said.

Canadian psychiatrists’ attitudes towards medical assistance in the death of people with mental illness have changed significantly over the past five years.
When Canada first legalized assisted dying in 2016, a survey of its members by the Canadian Psychiatric Association found that 54 percent supported only those with mental illnesses.

Only 27 per cent approved, while the other 19 per cent were unsure.

But in another survey of its members, conducted last October, a majority of respondents – 41 percent – ​​agreed that only persons suffering from mental disorders should be considered eligible for medically assisted deaths.

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Twenty-nine percent disagreed, while 20 percent were unsure.

—With files from The Canadian Press


If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, there are resources available. In an emergency, please call 911 for immediate assistance.

For a directory of support services in your area, see Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention,

Learn more about how to help someone in crisis.

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