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‘Dr. Death’ Wants To Make A Body Implant That Kills You When You Forget To Deactivate It

Technology

‘Dr. Death’ Wants To Make A Body Implant That Kills You When You Forget To Deactivate It

What if you can die at your own term, in your own time?

Dr. Philip Nitschke, an expert who advocates the “right to die” movement and crafted the controversial “suicide pod,” shared that he’s come up with another idea: an implantable death switch.

The former Australian practitioner was first known when he gave a patient the first voluntary injection in 1996. He’s since then been speaking out about the right to die and coming up with the Sarco, a 3D-printable death chamber that floods the body with nitrogen.

death chamber the sarco 4
AP

The design was meant to comply with Switzerland’s assisted dying law and meant to keep medical involvement to the minimum as it can only be activated from the inside.

death chamber the sarco 1
Exit International

The doctor spoke with The Independent about how his non-profit group, Exit International, has been brainstorming for something more radical and effective to allow people to seal their own deaths in the scenario where they are faced with incurable degenerative brain disorders.

GBM1ME
'Dr. Death' Wants To Make A Body Implant That Kills You When You Forget To Deactivate It 14

The man spoke, “When a person has dementia, they can nowadays quite legally in some places fill out a bit of paper 10 years ago, when they are of sound mind, saying ‘if I get like this, kill me.'”

“Now, 10 years later, a doctor can come along, read the bit of paper, and even though you don’t know which way is up or down, legally give you an injection and end your life. That makes a lot of people feel pretty uncomfortable, and certainly makes me feel uncomfortable.”

“So what we’re working on here is some sort of an implant which you have to switch off every day. When you’ve forgotten why you’re switching something off that’s beeping, then you will die.”

death chamber the sarco 3
Alamy

“That puts the responsibility right back onto the person and allows them to get what they want, which is that they do not want to live on as some form of vegetable, with no one prepared to end their lives.”

However, this means that the device will face “significant legal barriers” with safety concerns. The doctor admitted this, “I don’t think there’s anyone you’re likely to get much sanction from anyone if you say, ‘I’m going to go around implanting poison into someone.'”

“But the biggest ones right now are the technical barriers – we don’t know how to do it. What is the poison? What is the thing that’s going to stop you living that can be so implantable? How are you going to have it released?”

death chamber the sarco 2
Philip Nitschke

He added that the device would beep for “a day or two” before it kills the user to prevent unwanted death from simply being a forgetful person. If the device successfully passes the fear of being abused and implanted without consent, it will be “an important development” for doctors who are conflicted or involved in legal issues with voluntary euthanasia.

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