The founder of Exit International, the manufacturer of the controversial “death capsules,” Dr. Philip Nitschke, reported: “There are no legal issues at all” in Switzerland for using his chambers that minimize the discomfort for people wishing to die in that country.
After the suicidal person enters the chamber, he presses a button that releases nitrogen, reducing the oxygen content from 21% to 1%, generating the individual’s loss of consciousness, who would die between 5 and 10 minutes later, according to Swissinfo on Dec. 6.
Dr. Daniel Sumalsy, professor of biomedical ethics at Georgetown University and an opponent of assisted suicide, said that “it is bad medicine, bad ethics and bad public policy.”
He added, “It converts killing into a form of healing and doesn’t acknowledge that we can now do more for symptoms through palliative than ever before,” Newsweek quoted him as saying in 2017.
In this regard, the World Medical Association (WMA) reiterated that euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide violate “the principles of the ethics of medicine,” at the 70th General Assembly held in Tbilisi, Georgia, Europe.
The latest version of the capsule would be available next year, said Nitschke, who believes it would be available next year to those interested in this form of assisted dying.
Nitschke seeks to ensure that there is no interference in the process his clients will follow, despite the objections of specialists.
“Naturally there is a lot of scepticism, especially on the part of psychiatrists. But our original conceptual idea is that the person would do an online test and receive a code to access the Sarco,” Nitschke insisted.
He added: “We want to remove any kind of psychiatric review from the process and allow the individual to control the method themselves,” the manufacturer stated.
Once the person is inside the capsule, they will be asked a series of questions and, when they have answered, they will be able to press the button inside the capsule to activate the lethal mechanism.
Switzerland permits suicide, and one or more physicians must be involved to prescribe sodium pentobarbital and confirm the person’s mental capacity.
Similar policies are contained in the legislation of Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. In neighboring countries, passive euthanasia or the disconnection of life-sustaining treatment is valid.
In addition to the growing number of people who want to avoid suffering at death, some agendas push suicide for different reasons.
According to the denunciations of the American lawyer and writer, Wesley J. Smith, one of them would be the New York Times, referring to an article by the columnist, Susan Jacoby. She “made a thinly veiled call” for the assisted suicide of the elderly.
For Jacoby, the elderly would become a source of family and social, economic problems and burdens.
“We can always count on the New York Times to promote destructive public policies and social agendas,” Smith emphasized.
He added: “How can having a doctor and an elderly person’s life be considered ‘a healthier attitude toward aging?’ On the contrary, it would denigrate the elderly by transforming them into a murderable caste, as soon as they need care.”