Suicide Pods Now Legal In Switzerland!
Do you believe that your right to die is as important as your right to live? If so, you might be interested in Switzerland’s recent decision to allow suicide.
Several other European nations, including Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, have similar rules in place, while some of their neighbours tolerate alternative methods such as passive euthanasia or the cessation of life-sustaining treatment in specific circumstances.
In physician-assisted suicide, a patient opts to die with the assistance of a medical expert, which usually entails just writing a prescription for a fatal medicine. A medical professional utilises active ways to end a patient’s life without pain during euthanasia, and passive euthanasia or withdrawal treatment both include stopping medical interventions that extend the patient’s life.
In Switzerland, assisted suicide has been permitted since 1942. In fact, some 1,300 people terminated their own lives last year with the help of euthanasia organisations such as Dignitas and Exit. Ingesting a capsule, which creates a coma before death, is the most typical approach.
Voluntary euthanasia is a touchy subject in most nations, as ending one’s own life is fraught with socio-cultural taboos. Switzerland is at the forefront of embracing the right to die after the country’s medical board approved the use of portable suicide capsules.
What are these suicide pods, and what do they do?
Switzerland has approved “suicide capsules,” which are 3-D printed pods that allow patients to choose where they want to die an assisted death.
These suicide capsules are 3D-printed pods that the user may activate from within. Exit International designed the “Sarco Suicide Pods.” Exit International, the firm that created these pods, has lobbied for the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia.
The “Sarco,” short for sarcophagus, is a 3D-printed contraption created by Australian euthanasia activist Philip Nitschke and Dutch designer Alexander Bannink that includes a detachable coffin and a platform with a nitrogen canister.
The creators displayed a replica of the device together with virtual reality glasses to give visitors a realistic experience of what it would be like to sit in the pod before hitting the button. Nitschke stated that he hoped to have the first completely functional pod completed before the end of the year.
After that, the design will be made available for download as an open-source document. “Anyone who wants to build the gadget can download the plans and 3D-print their own device,” Nitschke explained.
What is it all about?
When the capsule is activated, it floods the interior with nitrogen and rapidly lowers oxygen, causing the person to lose consciousness and, eventually, die without choking or panicking.
People who use the capsule will not experience suffocation or choking in the low-oxygen atmosphere, according to Nitschke. Rather, they will “perform at their peak.”
After the process is finished, the biodegradable capsule can be withdrawn from the machine’s base and used as a coffin for the deceased person.
Around 1,300 people died in Switzerland by assisted suicide in 2020, virtually all of them by consuming liquid sodium pentobarbital, a drug that puts patients into a profound sleep before killing them. The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Canada have all made assisted suicide legal.
In 2022, the Sarco Suicide Pod is projected to go live. According to the corporation, three prototypes were created, but one was not “aesthetically attractive” and hence will not be used. The price of using the service has not yet been published.
Deliberations on the law
In Switzerland, the current method is to give the person a sequence of drinks that, if consumed, will kill them. The pod, on the other hand, which can be placed anywhere, is flooded with nitrogen, rapidly lowering oxygen levels.
According to sources, the process takes less than a minute and death occurs through hypoxia and hypocapnia, which is designed to allow a person to go relatively sweetly and painlessly.
In about 10 minutes, the individual inside would lose consciousness and die as a result of the process. The suicide capsule is operated from the inside, and there is an emergency exit button.
Sarco requested Daniel Huerlimann, a legal expert and assistant professor at the University of St Gallen, to look into whether using the suicide pod would violate any Swiss legislation. He also believed it would not be in violation of any regulations relating to the use of nitrogen, weaponry, or product safety.
The Future of The Pod
One of the important benefits of the pod, according to Dr Philip Nitschke, a euthanasia activist and founder of Exit International, is that it can be transferred to an “idyllic outdoor environment.” “We want to get rid of any form of psychiatric review and give the individual discretion over the approach.” Our goal is to create an artificial intelligence-based screening system that will determine a person’s mental capacity. Naturally, there is mistrust, particularly among psychiatrists,” he told swissinfo.ch.
If the machine is approved for use in Switzerland, the pod will not be available for purchase in the traditional sense. Instead, Dr Philip Nitschke, the capsule’s creator, said he wanted to make the schematics available for anybody to download.
In an interview published on the website of Exit International, a voluntary assisted dying organisation he created, he stated that his goal is to “demedicalize the dying process.” “We want to do rid of any form of psychiatric examination and give the individual complete control over the approach.”
He’s been known as “Dr Death” for his protracted struggle for the right to die. He claims that just two capsule prototypes exist, but that a third is currently being produced in the Netherlands, and that this approach will be available to the Swiss public next year.
Nitschke said in a 2018 personal essay for HuffPost that his focus on assisted suicide has shifted over time “from supporting the idea of a dignified death for the terminally ill (the medical model) to supporting the concept of a good death for any rational adult with ‘life experience’ (the human rights model).”
“We witness the comfort and reassurance that comes from knowing one has an ‘exit plan,’ as it were, within reach, should the need ever arise.” Being in command instils confidence. It re-establishes a person’s feeling of self-worth. And, sure, knowing that one will have dignity in death generates dignity in living,” the creator wrote.
What are your thoughts on whether the freedom to die should be a democratic right? Leave your opinions in the comments section below.