‘Painless death’: Switzerland legalises machine for euthanasia

Suicide Machine. Photo: Twitter/Exit International

A coffin-shaped machine, which promises relatively painless and peaceful death in less than one minute, has been legalized in Switzerland, reports said on Tuesday.

Named Sarco, the machine allows users to kill themselves relatively painlessly by inducing hypoxia and hypocapnia (the state of inadequate oxygen supply at the tissue level and reduced carbon dioxide in the blood leading to death).

The machine can be operated from inside even by blinking in case the person using it suffers from locked-in syndrome (a condition in which a patient is aware but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for vertical eye movements and blinking), The Independent UK reported.

The machine is taken to the preferred location of the user and then the biodegradable capsule is detached from the base in order to serve as a coffin.

Dr Philip Nitschke, the director of the non-profit organisation Exit International, also known as ‘Dr Death’, is the mind behind the suicide pod.

Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and around 1,300 people used the services of euthanasia organisations last year, the report said.

“Barring any unforeseen difficulties, we hope to be ready to make Sarco available for use in Switzerland next year. It’s been a very expensive project so far but we think we’re pretty close to implementation now,” the report quoted Dr Philip Nitschke as having said.


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