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.”
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”.