“Sarco”, a euthanasia machine that can assist people to kill themselves at the click of a button, has triggered outrage after it was unveiled at a funeral show in Amsterdam recently.
At the annual Funeral Expo in central Amsterdam on Saturday, the model was displayed with a virtual reality headset that enabled visitors to feel what it was like to sit inside.
The “3D-printed machine” invented by Philip Nitschke, an Australian doctor who has been advocating legalising euthanasia, comes with a capsule and coffin. “Once inside the capsule, clients can click a button and the canister of nitrogen inside will be released to fill the capsule, the person inside will soon loses consciousness and passes away.”
Nitschke planned to launch the machine, which could be 3D-printed and assembled anywhere in the world, in 2019. However the device has triggered a controversy over the morality and legal implications of committing suicide. Pro-life organisations are warning that the machine could cause a huge spike in suicides.
Nancy Valko, a spokesperson for National Association of Pro-life Nurses in Missouri, whose daughter committed suicide after reading a book that discusses the “practicalities of self-deliverance”, told British Daily Mail that assisted suicide is open to abuse. “It’s glamourising and normalising suicide,’’ she said.