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Futurama-looking suicide capsule passes Swiss legal review

While this looks like the cryogenic freezer that sends Fry to the future, it’s more like the iconic suicide booth, only pain-free.

That’s right, it’s a 3D printed suicide capsule known as the Sarco device. Designed by Exit International, an assisted suicide organisation, the Sarco has passed Switzerland‘s legal review.

Assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland since the 1940s, and the Netherland’s based company, Exit International, is trying to de-medicalise and stylise the process.

Sacro via Exit International

Sacro was developed with the idea of creating a suicide capsule that could produce a rapid decrease in oxygen levels, while maintaining a low CO2 level, in a device that could be operated by the user themselves. These conditions lead to a very peaceful, even euphoric death.

The design of the capsule is very futurama-meets-tesla and was apparently intended to incite a sense of travel to a ‘new destination’ and to minimise any icky feelings one might have when staring at a suicide machine. Those are some big shoes to fill.

More than a thousand people died by assisted suicide in Switzerland in 2020. The current method involves a doctor’s prescription, a psychiatric review, and the injection of liquid sodium pentobarbital.

Exit International told Swissinfo.ch that their aim is to remove any sort of psychiatric review and to provide full control to the individual themselves.

“Our aim is to develop an artificial intelligence screening system to establish the person’s mental capacity. Naturally, there is a lot of scepticism, especially on the part of psychiatrists. But our original conceptual idea is that the person would do an online test and receive a code to access the Sarco.” said Dr Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International.

A peaceful, euphoric death

Sacro offers the option of a peaceful death, without the need for controlled substances. The suicide capsule flood’s with nitrogen, rapidly reducing the oxygen level from 21% to 1%.

The actual cause of death is hypoxia and hypocapnia, oxygen and carbon dioxide deprivation, taking about 30 seconds total. You don’t panic, you don’t feel like you’re choking – you simply drift off feeling disorientated and euphoric until eventually losing consciousness.

Apparently, the inside is very comfortable, and the suicide capsule can be set up anywhere – from the serene outdoors to assisted suicide facilities.

Sounds like we’re heading towards a pretty ideal, pain-free future for assisted suicide.