A Euthanasia Machine called “The Sarco”

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The Sarco. Source: Exit International

Euthanasia, also known as “mercy killing” is a way for people to end their life with the assistance of a licensed physician. Usually, patients who suffer from long-term illness choose this option as a way to end their pain. While this practice is illegal in most parts of the world, countries like Spain and the Netherlands allow it under strict regulations.

Mainly, physicians conduct euthanasia by administering lethal medicine to the patient in the form of an intravenous or oral solution. However, this method seems to not have been “elegant” enough for Philip Nitschke, the first physician to legally administer a lethal injection. Therefore, Nitschke, aka “Dr. Death” designed a euthanasia machine called the Sarco in 2017, as an easier way to die.

How does the Sarco Work?

According to his company, Exit International, the Sarco is designed to be a 3D printed device so that it’s accessible around the world. The device will have a detachable upper chamber that can be used as a coffin after death. This will sit on a generator that infuses the chamber with liquid nitrogen. The gas will replace the existing oxygen, causing death by hypoxia.

While hypoxia is usually an uncomfortable experience, Nitschke assures that the Sarco will be anything but.
“A Sarco death is painless. There’s no suffocation, choking sensation, or ‘air hunger’ as the user breathes easily in a low-oxygen environment. The sensation is one of well-being and intoxication.”

In 2018, the company showcased a wooden model of the machine at the Amsterdam Funeral Fair. Participants were able to virtually experience how the chamber would work in order to encourage conversation around death. “After all,” a press statement said, “we are all going to die. Increasing numbers of us want some say in how we are going to die.”

Although Sarco is still not available, Exit International announced on their website last August that their working device was almost ready. According to the news, the creators have finally managed to create a hypoxic environment in the chamber in under one minute. This is an important feature that emphasizes Nitschke’s goal to create a quick and painless death experience.

Source: https://www.iflscience.com/technology/experience-in-virtual-reality-what-it-feels-like-to-die-in-worlds-first-suicide-machine/

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