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31st Dec 2023

‘Suicide pod’ approved for use in Switzerland is completely legal


A new method for those wishing to be euthanised has been approved for use in Switzerland.

The suicide capsule machine was created by Philip Nitschke, who was the first doctor in the world to ever legally administer a lethal injection for the purpose of assisted suicide.

Nitschke founded Exit International, a group which advocates for the legalisation of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The 76-year-old was wanting to make a ‘peaceful, reliable and drug-free’ alternative for those who knew they wanted to go down the euthanasia path, but disliked the other options out there.

Normally, patients have to undergo an injection of liquid sodium pentobarbital from a doctor. This makes them fall asleep after a few minutes, before then falling into a coma and bringing about death.

However, Nitschke’s machine allows for a different way of dying.

Earlier this year, the doctor revealed that there were no more legal requirements for the capsule to meet before it could be used.

“The person will get into the capsule and lie down,” he explained to Swiss-info.

“It’s very comfortable. They will be asked a number of questions and when they have answered, they may press the button inside the capsule activating the mechanism in their own time.

“The capsule is sitting on a piece of equipment that will flood the interior with nitrogen, rapidly reducing the oxygen level to 1 percent from 21 percent.

“The person will feel a little disoriented and may feel slightly euphoric before they lose consciousness. The whole thing takes about 30 seconds.

“Death takes place through hypoxia and hypocapnia, oxygen and carbon dioxide deprivation, respectively. There is no panic, no choking feeling.”

The doctor added that, in the final moments, the nitrogen will give patients a euphoric feeling.