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Controversial inventor Dr Death says his ’suicide capsules’ will ask users three questions before death

Controversial inventor Dr Death says his ’suicide capsules’ will ask users three questions before death

Not everybody agrees with what he has created.

Warning: Article mentions topics of suicide and euthanasia

Dr Philip Nitschke hasn't been given the nickname 'Dr Death' for nothing - He's an Australian euthanasia advocate.

He often makes headlines for the controversial work he's been doing in the area of self-assisted dying, and in 1997, he founded Exit International.

Exit International describes itself as providing 'information and education about practical DIY end of life choices to rational adults (aged >50 years)'.

Back in August 2023, Nitschke told MailOnline the capsules for assistant dying he'd been developing were 'ready' to be used.

As horrifying as they may sound, he actually created them in an effort to provide a ‘peaceful, reliable, drug-free’ method of dying.

Exit International
Exit International

Nitschke wanted something that could be used in the complete control of even those who have very severe illnesses such as locked-in syndrome.

The 3D-printed capsule has not yet been approved for use, but they would offer someone who wishes to die legally an alternative to existing legal assisted dying methods. (Where patients would have to have a doctor administer liquid sodium pentobarbital.)

"We're talking to a number of people who are wanting to be the first to use it," he said.

How does it work?

Dubbed the Sarco Pod, Exit International said it is a capsule that can 'produce a rapid decrease in oxygen level, while maintaining a low CO2 level, (the conditions for a peaceful, even euphoric death)'.

Nitschke also explained to MailOnline that users would be asked three questions upon entering the machine. There questions would be: 'Who are you?', 'Where are you?' and 'Do you know what happens if you press the button?'

David Mariuz / Stringer / Getty
David Mariuz / Stringer / Getty

"If they answer those questions verbally, the software then switches the power on so that the button can then be pressed," he said.

"And if they press the button they will die very quickly. When you climb into Sarco the oxygen level is 21% but after you press the button it takes 30 seconds for the oxygen to drop to less than one per cent."

The pods cost between $4,000 (£3,100) and $8,000 (£6,200), and were in the final stages of being prepared for use in Switzerland.

If you wanted to use the Sarco Pod, you'd need to be a member of Exit International, according to MailOnline.

This comes at a price of $100 ($78) to sign up to. Switzerland also has strict criteria around who is eligible for assisted death.

Here's a list of the leading mental health helplines and services that are just a call away in the UK:

Samaritans are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and will talk to you about anything that's bothering you. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email [email protected]_ or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Welsh Language Line on 0300 123 3011 from 7pm to 11pm every day.

The Mix take calls from under 25s on 0808 808 4994 from Sunday to Friday, 2pm to 11pm. You can request support by email using the form on The Mix website or using their crisis text messenger service.

Papyrus HOPELINEUK is there for under 35s struggling with suicidal feelings, or those who are concerned about a young person who might be struggling. You can call them on 0800 068 4141 on weekdays from 9am to 10pm, on weekends from 2pm to 10pm, and on bank holidays from 2pm to 10pm. You can also email [email protected]_ or text 07786 209 697.

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) caters specifically to males on 0800 58 58 58 from 5pm to midnight every day. Alternatively, you can use their webchat service.

The Nightline website allows students to see if their university or college offers a night-time listening service. Nightline phone operators are all students too.

Switchboard is there for people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and can be reached on 0300 330 0630 from 10am to 10pm every day. You can also email here or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.

The Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L). is available for those who live in Wales and can be contacted on 0800 132 737, which is open 24/7. You can also text 'help' followed by a question to 81066.

Featured Image Credit: Exit International