Nov 24, 2017 | By David

We know that 3D printing technology can produce all kinds of devices and products for the treatment of people suffering from various medical problems that are often life-saving, but what about those not looking to save their life but to end it? This apparently counter-intuitive medical function could become more and more important as euthanasia becomes increasingly acceptable and common around the world, and a recent 3D printing breakthrough made by a controversial Dutch assisted dying expert looks well-placed to take advantage of the potential suicidal spread.

Dr.  Philip Nitschke, a well-known proponent of euthanasia who has been given the nickname “Dr. Death,” created this suicide machine using 3D printing technology. It’s known as the Sarco capsule, and was developed alongside engineer Alexander Bannink. The machine allows users to kill themselves easily and painlessly with the single press of a button. The plan is for the 3D printing files to be made open-source and available online for free, in order to allow anyone with access to a 3D printer and a death wish to download digital designs for their own death-dealing device.

Dr Nitschke told The Weekend Australian that "the limit will be the availability of the new 3D printers." His team is “looking at printing (it) using biodegradable wood and plastic for the capsule. Printing materials are readily available (in Australia) as is liquid nitrogen. Printing cost is only an estimate at this point, but probably around 1000 ($1500)”.

According to Nitschke, “Sarco does not use any restricted drugs, or require any special expertise such as the insertion of an intravenous needle... Anyone who can pass the entry test can enter the machine and legally end their life.”

The entry test he refers to is an online questionnaire, which is intended to assess the mental wellbeing of potential users, in order to judge whether or not they are a suitable candidate for taking their own life. Based on the results of this psychological test, the user may or may not be given a 4-digit code, which needs to be entered a keypad inside the Sarco capsule for it to carry out its solemn duty.

The Sarco terminates the existence of its users by releasing liquid nitrogen inside its sealed capsule, which gradually reduces the oxygen level until breathing, and survival, are no longer possible. The capsule can then be detatched and used as a coffin, while the base can be re-used by another person who has chosen to shuffle off this mortal coil.

Nitschke previously released a suicide kit online which was disguised as equipment for home brewing beer. This sold for roughly $340 and was available in the UK for over three years. Before becoming one of the world’s most infamous euthanasia activists, Nitschke was a doctor practicing in Australia. He got into hot water with the law after neglecting to refer a suicidal patient, who eventually committed suicide, to a psychiatrist. This affair caused him to burn his medical license and set up the assisted suicide campaign Exit International. His work has apparently been prompted by growing demand for choices by the elderly and an ageing population, as well as difficulties associated with sourcing the best drugs to end a life safely and comfortably.

The Sarco is undeniably a disruptive solution to many problems facing the medical industry and society at large, albeit a controversial one. It is due to be demonstrated (presumably not with an actual human subject) at this year’s Exit NuTech Conference “New Technologies for a Peaceful DIY Death”, which wil be held in Toronto on Sat 28th October.

(In the UK and Republic of Ireland, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14)



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Dr. Death wrote at 11/28/2017 6:03:23 PM:

3D printed hand guns would still be faster and cheaper. And not require a survey.

R2-D2 wrote at 11/27/2017 5:17:44 AM:

Why is this depressing shit on the site at all? this is probably the single most disturbing use of 3D printing tech that I've ever had the misfortune to read. Please get rid of this ASAP.

Paul wrote at 11/25/2017 6:25:37 PM:

Usual Nitschke bollocks. Just designed to swell Exit membership numbers, increase website membership and increase sales of the Peaceful Pill Handbook. It will go exactly the same way as his Destiny Machine, another flight of fantasy. The man is a charlatan who overcharges for everything and exploits the vulnerable

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