The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Sarco: the 3D Printable Suicide Pod

Robin Mizrahi

Posted on May 5, 2018 02:23

0 user

Holland remains at the forefront of futuristic technology that refines the otherwise messy business of self-inflicted death.

Last fall I was traveling with my Dutch friend from Amsterdam to Berlin. About halfway there, deep into snow-covered German farmland, the train came to a halt. Passengers were told to find an alternate route because someone had thrown himself in front of the commuter train.

“It happens a lot here,” my friend told me.

In the Netherlands, about 200 “jumpers" commit suicide by train every year. It’s awful for everyone involved - witnesses, cleanup crew, and inconvenienced passengers forced to find an alternate route. Most of all, it’s a tragedy for the person who felt there was no alternative but to die violently.

Dutch designer Alexander Bannink and Australian euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke want to change that. At a recent funeral trade show in Amsterdam, the innovators unveiled a model of their new 3D-printable suicide pod – a human-sized capsule that, with the touch of a button, fills with nitrogen and induces a peaceful and painless loss of consciousness and then death.

Nitschke said the machine – named “Sarco,” short for sarcophagus – is meant “to provide people with a death when they wish to die.”

The activist went on to explain, “It’s a fundamental human right [to choose when to die]. It’s not just some medical privilege for the very sick. If you’ve got the precious gift of life, you should be able to give that gift away at the time of your choosing.”

Thousands of people attended Amsterdam’s annual funeral convention, which displayed the newest technology in the death business, including biodegradable coffins and sports car styled hearses.

The Sarco was a hit, drawing visitors who lined up to get a feel for the experience of dying in a pod. They sat in the soft, luxurious chair and were given virtual reality glasses that projected views of the sky and the ocean. One visitor said, “It was really an experience … very pretty and calm. You see the moon and you see the sea. It’s very calm.”

Nitschke is currently building a fully functioning suicide pod, and plans to make the design available online for anyone to download and 3D print one of their own.

Last year, I wrote a TLT about Holland’s End-of-Life clinics that provide legal assisted suicide for those who feel they have “completed” their lives. Many Dutch doctors believe that when a patient's mental or physical state is unbearable, it is immoral to deny them the means to end their suffering. The Sarco, if proven viable, offers another way to bring about a peaceful passing.

Holland, the first country to legalize suicide in 2002, remains at the forefront of futuristic technology that refines the otherwise messy business of self-inflicted death.

Robin Mizrahi

Posted on May 5, 2018 02:23

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

Police from the Lucas County Sheriff's Office responded to a suicide attempt at a hotel in Holland, Ohio overnight.

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest