Suicide Capsule Legalized in Switzerland

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The machine was named “Sarco,” which means sarcophagus. It means hypercapnic alarm response, where an inert gas, nitrogen, prevents panic, sense of suffocation, and struggling before unconsciousness.

is suicide undertaken with the help of another person. It is usually referred to physician-assisted suicide (PAS), which is suicide that is assisted by a physician. Assisted suicide is allowed in Switzerland.

Currently, the method in use is ingestion of a suicide pill containing liquid sodium pentobarbital. After taking the drug, the person will fall asleep within two to five minutes before slipping into a deep coma, followed by death. .

This new invention offers a different approach for a peaceful death, without the need for controlled substances. .

What is Sarco?

Sarco machine is a coffin-shaped 3D-printed capsule that offers painless and peaceful death in less than a minute. Once the person lies down in the machine, they will be asked many questions, and when they have answered, they may press the button inside the capsule to activate it.

If the person has locked-in syndrome, the machine may be operated from within by blinking. The syndrome is a condition where a person is conscious but unable to move or speak due to complete paralysis of almost all voluntary muscles in the body, except eye movements.

The Sarco machine is transported to the location chosen by the user, and then the biodegradable capsule is separated from the base to act as a coffin.

How Does Sarco Cause Death?

The capsule is placed on a piece of equipment that will flood the interior with liquid nitrogen gas, dramatically dropping the oxygen content to 1% from 21% in roughly 30 seconds. Before losing consciousness, the person will feel disoriented and maybe euphoric.

Death occurs due to lack of oxygen and carbon dioxide. There is no sense of fear or suffocating.

In the future, the machine will be equipped with a camera that allows the person to communicate with the people outside and to record the person’s informed consent.

However, some claimed this machine is “simply a glorified gas chamber” due to the machine’s technique. Even some argued that the machine promotes and romanticizes suicide.

At present, there are only two Sarco prototypes, but Exit International’s machine is ready for operation in Switzerland next year.

Is Assisted Suicide Allowed in India?

Assisted suicide is illegal under Indian law. However, passive euthanasia is permissible. This was possible after the case of Aruna Shanbaug came up in the Supreme Court. Aruna Shanbaug is an Indian nurse who was at the center of attention in a court case on euthanasia after spending nearly most of her life in a vegetative state because of sexual assault.

Shanbaug had been in this state for 37 years, the Supreme Court of India responded to a plea for euthanasia filed by journalist Pinki Virani, setting up a medical panel to examine her. The court rejected the petition on March 7, 2011. However, in its landmark opinion, it allowed passive euthanasia in India.

On March 7, 2011, the Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment, issued a set of broad guidelines legalizing passive euthanasia in India. These guidelines for passive euthanasia – that is, the decision to withdraw treatment, nutrition, or water – establish that the decision to discontinue life support must be taken by parents, spouse, or other close relatives, or in the absence of them, by a “next friend.” The decision also requires court approval.

References :

  1. Sarco device
  2. Sarco – (
  3. A Futuristic Suicide Machine Aims to End the Stigma of Assisted Dying

Source: Medindia

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