Developments in the technology sector will always fill people with a certain amount of dread. This only becomes more apparent when those creations have to do with death, or more specifically, killing oneself. Australian scientist Philip Nitschke has come up with something called the Sarco capsule. It is an interesting machine which lets anyone commit suicide at any given time in a humane manner.

The Sarco Capsule is Quite Eerie

Euthanasia has always been a topic of substantial conversation. There are many opponents, but equally as many proponents of this form of assisted suicide. If there is no way to live comfortably, euthanasia becomes the only option left for a lot of people. However, there are ethical questions as to when and how this suicide method should be available. Every country around the world has its very own sets of guidelines on this front, which isn’t surprising by any means.

One of the biggest proponents of euthanasia in Australia goes by the name of Philip Nitschke. Dr. Nitschke has developed a device allowing anyone to commit suicide whenever and wherever they please. All they need is to obtain a Sarco capsule, which requires an access key to be used. Once inside the machine, the user can end his or her life with the touch of a button. Since this product can be fully 3D-printed and assembled at any location in the world, it simply puts a new spin on the concept of euthanasia as a whole.

Users gain access to such a capsule after filling out an online questionnaire which provides them with the required access code. After this code is entered, the Sarco capsule will fill up with liquid nitrogen to remove any remaining oxygen in the device. Death will then automatically set in after a few minutes. It doesn’t require the involvement of a third party, nor is there any doctor involved in the final stage. While this is a novel development in the world of technology, it also raises a lot of questions which can’t be answered all that easily.

If that weren’t enough to make most people uncomfortable, the Sarco capsule also has some hidden “features” to take into account. The capsule itself can be detached from the main machine and be used as a coffin. Additionally, the machine base can be reused by someone else. Furthermore, the Sarco’s design criteria will be put on the internet for anyone to access. It is evident a lot of thought was put into this particular project, but it is not necessarily something most people will give a second thought to due to the touchy nature of this subject. 

One of the first questions that come to mind is whether or not the Sarco capsule is even legal. That question can’t be answered with a simple yes or no, as it heavily depends on existing euthanasia regulation in each country where it is used. Right now, it is doubtful most countries have any laws on the books preventing people from using this technology, although that may come to change very soon. This concept seems almost unthinkable, yet it is a very real project developed by an actual doctor.

Moreover, it remains to be seen if such products will ever be commercialized. Just because a prototype exists doesn’t mean it will ever be suited for “mass consumption”, so to speak. There are a lot more questions than answers when it comes to the Sarco capsule; that much is certain. Rest assured this is not the last time we will hear about this project, or about Dr. Philip Nitschke for that matter.