Techknowage 3-D print suicide pod
Euthanasia activist aims to have a fully-functioning suicide machine by the end of the year
Acontroversial suicide pod that enables its occupant to kill themselves at a press of a button went on display at the recent Amsterdam funeral show.
Called the Sarco, short for sarcophagus, the 3D-printed machine invented by Australian euthanasia activist Philip Nitschke and Dutch designer Alexander Bannink comes with a detachable coffin, mounted on a stand that contains a nitrogen canister.
“The person who wants to die presses the button and the capsule is filled with nitrogen. He or she will feel a bit dizzy but will then rapidly lose consciousness and die,” Nitschke, who has been dubbed “Dr Death” for his work to legalise euthanasia, said.
The Sarco is a device “to provide people with a death when they wish to die”, Nitschke said.
The inventors put a model of the device on display, together with a set of virtual reality glasses to give visitors a true to life experience of what it would be like to sit in the pod, before ultimately pressing the button.
Nitschke said he aimed to build the first fullyfunctioning pod before the end of the year. After that, the design will be put online as an open source document for people to download.
“That means that anybody who wants to build the machine can download the plans and 3D-print their own device,” Nitschke said.
Asked about the controversy surrounding euthanasia and legal hurdles, Nitschke said: “In many countries suicide is not against the law, only assisting a person to commit suicide is.”
“This is a situation where one person chooses to press a button... rather than for instance standing in front of a train.
“I believe it’s a fundamental human right to choose when to die. It’s not just some medical privilege for the very sick.
“If you’ve got the precious gift of life, you should be able to give that gift away at the time of your choosing.”
Thousands of visitors flocked to the annual Amsterdam Funeral Expo at the city’s famous Westerkerk, where all the latest trends in death, such as biodegradable coffins and a hotrod funeral hearse were on display.
But the Sarco drew large crowds, many of them morbidly curious to try out the device’s chair and virtual reality glasses.
“It was really an experience and a strange thing to see. But very pretty and calm. You see the moon, you see the sea. It’s very calm,” Piet Verstraaten, 52, from the eastern Dutch city of Venray, said.
Others, however, were not impressed. “Well, I think it’s quite silly. It’s stupid. I don’t get it. I’m not interested in a real Sarco. No,” 52-year-old Rob Bruntink said. – Relaxnews
LAST GLIMPSE OF EARTH: A man experiences the inside of the Sarco (sarcophagus) suicide device through virtual reality glasses at the Amsterdam Funeral Expo at the weekend.