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'Dr Death' scientist wants his assisted suicide pods to be installed in UK

Daisy Phillipson

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'Dr Death' scientist wants his assisted suicide pods to be installed in UK

The man behind the 'suicide pod' - a 3D-printed capsule that kills the occupant within 10 minutes at the push of a button - wants to bring his invention to the UK.

Dr Philip Nitschke, who's been nicknamed 'Dr Death', went viral due to his creation of the Sarco pod, which promises users a 'painless death'.

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It works by flooding the chamber with nitrogen, reducing oxygen levels rapidly so individuals inside feel woozy before falling unconscious after one minute and dying after 10.

Nitschke explained that he came up with the suicide pod in order to create a 'peaceful, reliable, drug-free' method of dying, and one that could be used in the complete control of those who have very severe illnesses such as locked-in syndrome.

The pods, which are activated via a button, blink or gesture, also include an emergency button and escape hatch in case users change their mind.

Voluntary assisted dying, which allows a dying person the choice to control their death if they decide their suffering is unbearable, is illegal in the UK.

According to Dignity in Dying Scotland, there is no specific crime of assisting a suicide in the country.

The Sarco pod fills with nitrogen, causing cerebral hypoxia. Credit: Exit International
The Sarco pod fills with nitrogen, causing cerebral hypoxia. Credit: Exit International

However, it's possible that helping a person to die could lead to charges for murder, culpable homicide or reckless endangerment.

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur is hoping to change this, having recently won the right to introduce a members’ bill to legalise assisted dying in Scottish Parliament.

If the Assisted Dying for Terminally Ill Adults (Scotland) Bill is passed, it would make Scotland first in the UK to legalise the right for a terminally ill, mentally competent person to end their life.

As revealed by the Mail on Sunday, Nitschke has since written to McArthur urging him to consider his invention in Scotland, a query that's not been met too fondly by some.

Dr Gordon Macdonald, Chief Executive of Care Not Killing, told the outlet: "Ordinary people will be shocked and appalled at Philip Nitschke’s attempt to lobby for the use of his personal gas chamber should Scotland legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia."

But the doctor has since hit back on Twitter, tagging a story that declares 'outrage' over his idea to back the Sarco pod scheme for Scotland.

Dr Nitschke wants to remove the requirement for controlled drugs in assisted suicide. REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo
Dr Nitschke wants to remove the requirement for controlled drugs in assisted suicide. REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

"More fake 'outrage' over a peaceful Sarco hypoxic death by both opponents of rational suicide and by proponents of medically mediated 'beg and grovel' assisted dying laws," he wrote.

In a separate tweet citing a similar article, he said: "The only people 'angered' by the suggested use of inert nitrogen for a happy hypoxic elective death are those who believe no one should EVER get help to die."

LADbible has contacted Dr Nitschke and MSP McArthur for comment.

Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Exit International

Topics: News, UK News

Daisy Phillipson
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