Outrage as world's first euthanasia machine to be unveiled

  • 18/04/2018
Outrage as world's first euthanasia machine to be unveiled
Photo credit: Supplied

Warning: This article contains sensitive content that may distress some people.

The announcement of the world's first 3-D printed euthanasia machine has been met with outrage in the country it's to be unveiled in. 

Australian Philip Nitschke, a prominent international euthanasia advocate, has built Sarco, a device that allows people to end their own life at the simple press of a button, the Daily Mail reported. 

The machine fills with nitrogen, which results in a person painlessly losing consciousness after a minute. They then die five minutes later. 

Mr Nitschke has planned to officially release the machine at the upcoming Amsterdam Funeral Fair; people will be able to get a foretaste of the technology by wearing a virtual reality headset.

Yet a number of prominent figures in the Netherlands have expressed outrage at the life-ending technology. 

Dutch MP Kees an der Staaij described it as gruesome.

"All of us together try to do everything to prevent suicide and then you find a suicide machine on the funeral fair like it is the most normal case in the world. Suicide is not a promotional offer and aiding with suicide is a criminal offence in the Netherlands."

"All of this seems completely unwanted to us," a spokesperson for a Dutch suicide prevention hotline 113 said. 

Christian Union MP Carla Dik-Faber thought it was bizarre and worrying that companies were  promoting machines that led to death.

However Dr Nitschke says the machine aims to give people a 'euphoric' experience rather than a 'dignified' death. 

"What if we dared to imagine that our last day on this planet might also be one of our most exciting?" he told the Huffington Post

"A Sarco death is painless. There's no suffocation, choking sensation or 'air hunger' as the user breathes easily in a low-oxygen environment. The sensation is one of well-being and intoxication," he said. 

Dr Nitschke intends the machine to be transported wherever one chooses - for instance the top of a mountain range or somewhere overlooking the sea. 

Where to find help and support: 

Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737

  • Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat
  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666
  • Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)