Suicide pod dubbed ‘Tesla of euthanasia’ to be banned in Switzerland

The machine, called the Sarco, can be 3D-printed (Picture: MATTEOR)

The machine, called the Sarco, can be 3D-printed (Picture: MATTEOR)

A futuristic pod which has been dubbed the ‘Tesla of euthanasia’ has caused a stir in Switzerland and could be banned, prosecutors have said.

The pod, which is named the Sarco, was unveiled at the Venice Design Festival in 2019 and aims to remove the ‘yuk factor’ linked to death, makers say.

The first person to use the machine in Switzerland was scheduled to do so next week but now Swedish prosecutors are looking into banning the pod.

Voluntary assisted suicide, in which somebody is given the means to end their own life, has long been legal in Switzerland.

But the Swiss tabloid Blick reports that the Schaffhausen public prosecutor’s office is threatening anyone who uses the pod to assist in the death of someone in the canton, akin to a county, with five years in jail.

What is the Sacro?

It looks like something from a sci-fi film set in the 31st century.

But this pod is actually a suicide machine called the Sacro.

It’s been touted by its creator as a way for people to end their lives painlessly and without a doctor’s help.

How it works is by filling the capsule with nitrogen and rapidly decreasing the oxygen levels, according to its website.

But for the capsule to be active, the person must state their name and where they are and confirm they know what will happen once the nitrogen flow starts.

The process takes around 10 minutes – there is also an emergency stop button.

The entire process is filmed, with the footage provided to a coroner. Users can choose whether the window is transparent or not, so they can have a particular view as the machine runs.

‘Where you die is certainly an important factor,’ the inventor has previously said.

The Sacro, which is short for sarcophagus, doubles as a coffin. It is made of biodegradable materials.

Initially, the device was found not to violate Swiss law. Yet public prosecutor Peter Sticher warned in a letter to the pod’s creator Philip Nitschke, 76, he would ‘absolutely’ face ‘serious legal consequences’ if the device is used in Schaffhausen.

‘There is no reliable information about the method of killing,’ the letter reads.

One review by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concluded that if the device malfunctioned, it would fail to induce a state of unconsciousness in the user, likely leading to a painful death.

It is also ‘completely unclear who has control over which mechanical process during the dying process,’ Sticher’s letter adds.

Under section 115 of the Swiss penal code, it would not be possible to say who is responsible for the person’s death.

The pod would have been powered up for the first time in Switzerland next week (Picture: Ratal)

The code says: ‘Whoever, from selfish motives, induces another person to commit suicide or aids him in it, shall be confined in the penitentiary for not over five years, or in the prison, provided that the suicide has either been completed or attempted.’

Since 1942, Switzerland has allowed assisted suicide, …read more

Source:: Metro


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