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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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    Virtual ‘suicide machine’ allows you to experience death before it happens

    An inventor aptly nicknamed Dr Death created a virtual ‘suicide machine’ to allow the public to experience death before it happens.

    Dr Philip Nitschke debuted his invention, Sarco, at the Funeral Fair in Amsterdam back in 2018 – since then it’s been on display at other venues in Europe.

    But it is now open for the public to try out.

    The 3D-printed euthanasia capsule is designed to “produce a rapid decrease in oxygen level, while maintaining a low CO2 level (the conditions for a peaceful, even euphoric death)”, according to the Sarco website.

    “The elegant design was intended to suggest a sense of occasion: of travel to a ‘new destination’, and to dispel any ‘yuk’ factor.

    “Other design considerations were to devise a system that requires no specialised skills or involvement, no sourcing of difficult to obtain drugs, [and] no need for medical involvement eg. with the insertion of an intravenous cannula.

    “Those with a significant disability (eg. frailty or increasing paralysis from a disease such as MND/ ALS) would also not be disadvantaged. Activation by eye movement or voice control is anticipated.”

    Writing in the Huffington Post following the unveiling in 2018, Dr Nitschke said: “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.”

    'Suicide machine' designThe ‘Suicide machine’ was unveiled in 2018 (Image: Sarco)

    According to an Amsterdam press release, the purpose of the Sarco – which is short for sarcophagus – is to get “people talking positively about death and with broader consideration than being afraid, scared or shocked.”

    While the plans for the Sarco are to create a fully-functioning euthanasia capsule, the one that went on display in Amsterdam was an ‘art installation’ designed to give folks a chance to see how a Sarco-assisted death would work via virtual reality.

    However, Dr Death isn’t the only inventor to make euthanisation an experience.

    Lithuanian Julijonas Urbonas designed a rollercoaster painlessly kill its passengers back in 2010.

    His invention is described as a “hypothetic death machine in the form of a rollercoaster, engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being”.

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