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Switzerland Approves ‘Very Comfortable’ Suicide Pods

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by Laurel Duggan -

The Sarco machine, a 3-D printed assisted suicide pod, passed legal review in Switzerland, and it is expected to be available for public use in 2022, Swiss Info reported.

The machine aims to replace the more common method for suicide in which doctors prescribe liquid sodium pentobarbital to suicidal patients to help them kill themselves, according to Swiss Info.

“Currently a doctor or doctors need to be involved to prescribe the sodium pentobarbital and to confirm the person’s mental capacity,” Dr. Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International, told Swiss Info. “We want to remove any kind of psychiatric review from the process and allow the individual to control the method themselves.”

The Sarco resembles a futuristic coffin with a top made of glass. “It’s very comfortable,” Nitschke told Swiss Info. A suicidal person can simply step inside, answer a few prompts related to informed consent and press a button to initiate their death. The pod is then flooded with nitrogen, and the oxygen level falls to 1% in about 30 seconds.

There is no choking feeling, no feeling of panic, and the patient will be dead within ten minutes, Nitschke said to Swiss Info.

While countries that allow assisted suicide often require a person to have a serious illness, Switzerland only requires that the person assisting is not motivated by selfishness. The country does not ban assisted suicides for young people who are simply tired of life, Swiss Info reported. Switzerland has a booming industry of suicide tourism and permits legal pay-to-die suicide clinics.

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