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The creator of the 'suicide pod' is keen to make a body implant that kills you if you forget to deactivate it.
Dr Philip Nitschke aims to provide the device for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease to seal their deaths years in advance.
The doctor has gone viral due to creation of his Sarco machine - a 3D-printed capsule that kills the occupant within 10 minutes at the push of a button by flooding the chamber with nitrogen, reducing oxygen levels rapidly.
With regards to the new body plant idea, Dr Nitschke explained to The Independent on Wednesday (15 December): "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.
"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."
Sometimes known as 'Dr Death', he acknowledges the 'legal barriers' involved when implementing such devices.
He added: "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?"
While that is legally permissible in Switzerland, it is not in many other countries such as the UK.
Currently under UK law, anyone found to have assisted in the suicide of another person can be jailed for up to 14 years.
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 164 0123 from 7pm to 11pm every day.
- The Mix take calls from under 25s on 0808 808 4994 from seven days a week from 3pm to 12am. 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 every day from 9am to 12am. You can also email [email protected] or text 07860 039 967.
- 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.
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