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'It's like something out of a dark science fiction novel': UK's Right to Life condemns Switzerland's new pods for assisted dying

by Reuters Journalist

UK charity Right To Life has condemned the legalisation of 3D-printed coffin-like pods that allows people to end their life in Switzerland.

“This ‘suicide machine’ is like something out of a dark science fiction novel,” Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said.

Switzerland’s medical review board announced the legalisation of the Sarco Suicide Pods this week. The machine allows a user to lie down and activate the process themselves within a matter of minutes.


Currently, assisted suicide in Switzerland means swallowing a capsule filled with a cocktail of controlled substances that puts the person into a deep coma before they die. But Sarco pods - short for sarcophagus - allow a person to control their death inside the pod by quickly reducing internal oxygen levels. Nitrogen fills the 3D-printed device, quickly bringing oxygen down from 21 per cent to only 1 per cent in about 30 seconds.

Dr. Philip Nitschke, the developer of the pods and founder of Exit International, a pro-euthanasia group, told the machines can be “towed anywhere for the death” and one of the most “positive” features of the capsules is that they can be transported to an “idyllic outdoor settings.”

“The person will get into the capsule and lie down. It’s very comfortable.” explains Dr. Philip Nitschke. After death, the pod can be used as a coffin.

“Barring any unforeseen difficulties, we hope to be ready to make Sarco available for use in Switzerland next year.”

Robinson continued: “Not only is he promoting suicide, but he is also attempting to remove just about any minimal safeguards that one might think to introduce. The idea of doing an online test to assess mental capacity is so open to abuse that it should not be taken seriously”.

“It is surely a black mark against Switzerland that one of the things it is increasingly becoming known for is its trade in death”.

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