Switzerland Legalized 3D Printed Suicide Pods

Andrei Tapalaga

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The inventor of the suicide pods showcasing his creationThe Mega Agency

The world is surely catching up to new technological trends as this creature that seems to be taken out of a science fiction movie proves it. Philip Nitschke is an Australian inventor who is also pro-euthanasia. The media has already nicknamed him “Dr. Death” for his invention as well as his big marketing campaign that had success in Switzerland. 

An ethical issue that may be solved by technology 

Although euthanasia and assisted suicides have the same goal in mind, they are two very different terms and this invention is looking to offer assisted suicides. The ethical problem around this focuses very much on understanding the difference between the two terms. 

Nitschke’s invention called “Sarco” from the definition of a sarcophagus in which mummies from ancient Egypt would be placed is offered assisted suicide to whoever may want it. In Switzerland alone, there has been a recent rise in the number of assisted suicide cases, many of which are deemed illegal. 

For this reason, the Swiss government saw a need for the Sarco in order to offer the people that want to commit suicide a safe and legal solution that is also deemed by Nitschke as “pain-free”. Although many people are criticizing Nitschke’s invention, there are a lot of people around the world that want to commit suicide for various reasons and everyone should be entitled to that choice despite religious views on this ethical issue. 

A cheap and safe alternative 

What is really interesting about this invention is that it can be 3D printed, as many other things are planned to be created through a 3D printer in the near future. This proves that Nitschke is not after profiting from people wanting to suicide as he will make the blueprints public for anyone to print once the final product is finished. However, this invention is only legal in Switzerland, but many other European countries are already looking at implementing similar laws. 

Many people within Switzerland have to go through an illegal process to procure drugs in order to suicide, whilst some doctors perform assisted suicide, but in some cases, the process is not straightforward. There are many other countries out there such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, and Colombia that allow assisted suicide, but they all have slightly different rules.

“The benefit for the person who uses it is that they don’t have to get any permission, they don’t need some special doctor to try and get a needle in, and they don’t need to get difficult drugs to obtain.” (Quote by Dr. Philip Nitschke)

Sarco can only be used by the person inside the pod so that no one outside can interrupt the suicide. Once the person had pressed start, the capsule floods with nitrogen and reduces oxygen which causes the person to lose consciousness. This leads to death without choking, panicking, or any sort of pain. Making it arguably the most pleasant way to pass away. 

The whole procedure should only take about 30 seconds and with the comfort offered by the interior of the capsule, it should make other methods of euthanasia or assisted suicide obsolete. Sarcos is expected to be made available in 2022. How long until this will be implemented in the United States? The recent laws that have been created within various states show that there is also an increase in assisted suicide cases in America.

It is true that these people should be talked out of suicide, but once again this comes down to the choice of every person despite religious beliefs. Nevertheless, if you who reads this think about suicide please give a ring to the number below (available in the United States) to talk with someone about any sort of problems that may give you such thoughts. 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1–800–273–8255) provides 24/7, free, confidential support for people in distress, as well as best practices for professionals and resources to aid in prevention and crisis situations.

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