Switzerland’s medical review board has authorized the use of a coffin-shaped capsule, which promises relatively painless and peaceful death in under one minute as a new way to die by assisted suicide.
Makers of the ‘Sarco Suicide Pod’ claimed death in the pod occurs through hypoxia and hypocapnia by reducing the oxygen to a critical level.
Inventor Philip Nitschke of Exit International said Conventional assisted-suicide methods have generally involved a chemical substance but ‘death pod’ offers a different approach. “We want to remove any kind of psychiatric review from the process and allow the individual to control the method themselves, our aim is to develop an artificial-intelligence screening system to establish the person’s mental capacity. Naturally, there is a lot of scepticism, especially on the part of psychiatrists”.
The pod can be activated from inside and can give the person intending to die various options for where they want to be for their final moments. “The machine can be towed anywhere for the death, it can be in an idyllic outdoor setting or in the premises of an assisted-suicide organization, for example.”
To qualify to use the pod, the person who wants to die must answer an online survey that is meant to prove whether they are making the decision of their own accord. If they pass, they will be told the location of the pod and given an access code.
Once inside, the person intending to end their life will have to answer pre-recorded questions and press a button that will start the process of flooding the interior with nitrogen, which will quickly reduce the oxygen level inside from 21 percent to 1 percent.
He said the person will likely feel disorientated or euphoric. “The whole thing takes about 30 seconds.”
In 2020, around 1,300 people died by assisted suicide in Switzerland, almost all by 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 is expected to be operational in 2022. The company has made three prototypes, but one was not “aesthetically pleasing” so it will not be used, it says. The company has not yet announced how much it will cost to use the service.