THE inventor of a controversial suicide pod says he has become “quite attracted to the idea” and would consider using it for himself.
“Dr Death” – real name Dr Philip Nitschke – made headlines last year after claiming his Sarco capsule could be used in Switzerland from 2022, allowing those who are seriously sick to end their life themselves at the click of a button.
‘Dr Death’ hopes the pod will be used for the first time later this year in SwitzerlandCredit: Exit International
The coffin-like pod is filled with nitrogen, quickly bringing oxygen down from 21 per cent to only 1 per cent in about 30 seconds.
Speaking to The Sun, Dr Nitschke said he would contemplate ending his own life in the pod one day, should he develop a serious life-debilitating illness.
“I’ve got access to certain drugs but I’ve become quite attracted to the idea,” he said.
“The death itself is a very peaceful, almost euphoric, intoxicating moment before one loses consciousness so it is pretty good by death standards I suppose.
“So yes, I like that idea of having a sense of occasion, a day that you die.
“That you pick the day, you set it up, you decide who’s there, who you want to say goodbye to, and then you climb in as if you’re going somewhere, because it gives the impression of a vehicle for travel, even though it doesn’t go anywhere.
“It gives the impression at least that you’re leaving, you’re waving goodbye, the people behind are staying and at that point you leave this planet.”
The latest model is expected to be completed in a matter of weeks and could be used in Switzerland – where assisted suicide is legal – midway through the year.
Both assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal in the UK.
Dr Nitschke – who runs pro right-to-die organisation Exit International – said he has had interest from lots of people suffering with a terminal illness, though some have died in waiting.
“We want to make sure that it’s not a controversial first death, in other words it’s likely to be a person who’s quite sick – even though under Swiss law you don’t have to be sick to be able to get help to die,” he explained.
“Because there will be so much controversy over the use of gas, we will be wanting someone who is quite clear that they like this idea and that they’re going to go ahead and end their life one way or another.”
However, some are against the device – even those for assisted dying.
Dignitas told the BBC last year it “would not imagine that a technologised capsule for a self-determined end of life will meet much acceptance or interest in Switzerland”.
For anyone struggling to cope, call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or contact other sources of support, such as those listed on the NHS’s help for suicidal thoughts webpage.
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
In other news, the new Harry Potter video game Hogwarts Legacy will feature some familiar faces despite being set hundreds of years before the majority of characters were even born.
A major Mars mission to find out whether life ever existed on the planet could be delayed by up to six years at best, as Europe scrambles to replace Russian parts.
Internet users have been urged not to use a popular piece of anti-virus software over fears it could be exploited by the Kremlin to spy or launch cyberattacks.
And Instagram could be planning to bring back a way to see what your friends like on the platform.
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