A new 3D-printed "suicide pod" with a detachable casket will soon be available to terminally ill people who want to end their own lives.
Australian doctor and euthanasia activist Philip Nitschke, also known as "doctor death", recently unveiled his latest creation – the Sarco capsule.
The 3D-printed capsule is fitted with canisters of liquid nitrogen gas and a removable compartment that can double as a casket. Once the patient gets inside, they can trigger the gas canister. This will starve their brains of oxygen, forcing them to pass out and die within minutes.
"So, a person can, with minimal involvement, get into the machine and press a button for a very peaceful, elegant almost-euphoric death," Dr. Nitschke told Australia's Gold Coast Bulletin.
"Suicide is not a crime — not even in Queensland — so if you print your own machine and you don't have to use illegal drugs to die, it's not a crime," he said.
Nitschke says the pod allows terminally ill patients to choose when, where, and how they die. The machine itself cost between $4,000 to $8,000.
"The idea of using a machine to have absolute control really has been a long-term interest of mine," he told Exit International.
Nitschke founded Exit International in 1997 to advocate for euthanasia.
He says the Sarco pod has safety measures. For examples, users must undergo an online mental fitness test before receiving a time-limited access code. The access code is required to turn on the capsule.
The capsule took two years to create and has never been used for a suicide.
But Nitschke says people are already asking to use the death pod.
"People are making contact every day, wanting to use this thing," he told the Australian Associated Press. "I'm not suggesting Sarco is everybody's cup of tea but it seems to be a lot of people's cup of tea."