Sarco
Sarco

Dr Death’s ‘suicide pod’ can be 3D printed

THE controversial Dr Death will unveil footage never before seen in Australia of a suicide pod that will deliver a "peaceful, elegant, almost-euphoric" ending.

The Sarco pod - which can be printed at home on a 3D machine - is the invention of polarising euthanasia doctor Philip Nitschke, who arrived in Australia yesterday from Amsterdam for a Gold Coast workshop which will be held today.

He will present footage of the Sarco to a packed workshop at Robina where numbers have been boosted by elderly people's fear of spending their last days in nursing homes.

The Sarco machine can be manufactured with a 3D printer and the base can be re-used.
The Sarco machine can be manufactured with a 3D printer and the base can be re-used.

"The Gold Coast will see the first footage of a 3D-printed Sarco," said Dr Nitschke, founder of Exit International. "I will describe the printing process and when we expect the first one to be available in Australia - hopefully next year.

"The Gold Coast has always been the area of greatest interest in Australia in Exit activities and plans. The Sarco development is no exception and there will be a lot of questions about its use."

Dr Nitschke, 70, said there was "a lot of pressure" to make the suicide capsules available in Australia.

"This will depend on the successful use of Sarco euthanasia in Switzerland, which we expect late this year. We have a number of people in Switzerland waiting to use the capsule."

The Sarco suicide pod, invented by Dr Philip Nitschke, on display in Venice.
The Sarco suicide pod, invented by Dr Philip Nitschke, on display in Venice.

The Sarco is yet to be used in a suicide.

"We've carried out trials to monitor the oxygen level in the capsule and we're very confident," Dr Nitschke said.

The death pod is on display in Venice, a second is being printed in the Netherlands and it has made headlines in leading publications such as Newsweek.

The Sarco resembles a spaceship, which Dr Nitschke said encouraged users to think about travel or embarking on a new journey. The base contains canisters of liquid nitrogen and a removable capsule compartment, which can be used as a coffin.

Potential users have to fill out an online test of mental fitness, and if they pass, he said they would receive an access code for 24 hours.

After the code is entered and additional confirmation given, the Sarco capsule fills with liquid nitrogen to drop the oxygen level down to about five per cent. The user passes out within a minute and dies a few minutes later.

"So, a person can, with minimal involvement, get into the machine and press a button for a very peaceful, elegant almost-euphoric death," Dr Nitschke said.

"Suicide is not a crime - not even in Queensland - so if you print your own machine and you don't have to use illegal drugs to die, it's not a crime," he said.

"The cost will depend on access to a printer capable," he said. "At this stage, the Sarco has expected production costs of €3000 to €5000 ($4800 to $8000), but it's important to note that it can be used multiple times.

"There is considerable interest in the Sarco's development and it's being seen as an example of how death and dying will develop"

Dr Nitschke said the Sarco could be parked at a user's favourite location.

"So, a person can have a last view of, for example, the Alps, the ocean or The Outback," he said.



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