The company creating a 3D-printed capsule that can assist with assisted suicide believes it might be used in Switzerland as soon as next year.
Sarco hired a Swiss legal expert, who determined that the equipment did not violate any Swiss legislation.
Other lawyers, on the other hand, questioned his conclusions. Dignitas, an assisted suicide organisation, predicted that it would be met with a lack of acceptance.
In Switzerland, assisted suicide, in which someone is provided with the means to terminate their own life, is legal. In 2020, over 1,300 people died in this manner.
In the United Kingdom, assisted suicide and euthanasia, in which a doctor ends the life of someone who wishes to die, are both prohibited.
In Switzerland, the current procedure is to administer a sequence of drinks that, if consumed, will cause the person’s death. The pod, which can be placed anywhere, is flooded with nitrogen, rapidly diminishing oxygen levels. The individual inside would lose consciousness and die in around 10 minutes as a result of the process.
The suicide pod features an emergency exit button and is operated from the inside.
Sarco asked Daniel Huerlimann, a legal expert and assistant professor at the University of St. Gallen, to look into whether using the suicide pod would be illegal in Switzerland.
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. This will be made freely available.
In an interview published on the website of Exit International, a voluntary assisted dying organisation he created, he stated that his goal is to de-medicalize the dying process.
The Sarco pod currently has two prototypes, with a third being printed in the Netherlands. Dr Nitschke has already attracted criticism for the pod’s futuristic design, with some claiming that it glamorizes suicide.