Close to 800,000 people die because of suicide every year and many more attempt to end their own life. An innovation by an Australian doctor may potentially up suicide rates worldwide.
Philip Nitschke created a death machine with the aim of helping people commit suicide in an efficient and painless manner. Also known as "Dr. Death," the founder of an organization that promotes voluntary euthanasia, and writer of the suicide handbook The Peaceful Pill thinks that his invention can help people die peacefully.
Nitschke used to speak about euthanasia only for those who are terminally ill but he appears to have changed his mind as he now thinks that each individual has the right to choose to live or die. He also developed a machine that can be used by people who no longer wishes to live.
The 70-year old doctor developed the Sarco capsule in The Netherlands, where people have been able to legally end their lives with the assistance of a doctor since 2001. Use of the machine, however, does not require help from a doctor.
"In my opinion—and when it comes to the Sarco-a doctor is not necessary. There are still certain conditions that people need to meet before they are considered, like being of sane mind. This is determined by an online questionnaire," Nitschke said.
The device is made up of a reusable machine base and a capsule that can serve as a coffin after detaching. These parts can be created using a 3D printer and can be assembled anywhere.
Nitschke said the coffin uses liquid nitrogen, which can be legally bought. The fluid will start to flow once a person takes a seat inside the machine. The person will then start to feel disoriented within two minutes, a feeling the doctor said is comparable to having too many drinks. The person will then lose consciousness a few minutes later and die in about five minutes.
Emergency Window For Those Who Change Their Mind
The capsule also comes with an emergency window in case the person changes mind. This opens right away once you click on it allowing oxygen to flow into the machine. The person can also push the stop button before losing consciousness.