World News

Switzerland legalises assisted suicide capsule


Switzerland legalises ‘Sarco’ assisted suicide capsule.

Euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal already in Switzerland. The country has taken one step further and has now approved the use of an assisted suicide capsule. The Sarco capsule or machine was designed by Nitschke and Alexander Bannink.

The designers hope that their assisted suicide machine with allow people to die in a dignified manner. The person who wants to die is placed inside the capsule. Once activated the capsule makes the person fall to sleep where they then die painlessly. The machine uses nitrogen to help the person die without pain.

The person wanting to die can activate the machine using a button inside the capsule. If the person is paralysed, then they can activate the machine by just blinking. The capsule can be made with a 3D printer so can be used around the world.

Once activated the machine sucks out oxygen from the air until only 1 per cent remains. The patient will start to lose consciousness within seconds of the process being started. Death will occur within 5 to 10 minutes and will be painless.

Speaking to inventor Nitschke said: “there is no panic and no feeling of suffocation”. The death is said to be peaceful.

The capsule will be available for use from 2022 in Switzerland for assisted suicide. At the moment the design is still in its prototype stage. In future, the machine will allow people to communicate from inside the capsule with the outside world. The designers also plan on recording the patient’s consent so no doctor will be needed to supervise the death.

Version number three is being manufactured in the Netherlands and this will be used i Switzerland from next year. The new version will look less like a spaceship.

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Alex Glenn

Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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