A 3D-printed capsule destined for use in assisted suicide hopes to operate in Switzerland, according to Exit International, the organisation that developed the ‘Sarco’ machine.

Some 1,300 people died by assisted suicide in Switzerland in 2020 using the services of the country’s two largest assisted suicide organisations, Exit (no connection to Exit International) and Dignitas. The method currently in use is ingestion of liquid sodium pentobarbital.

After taking the drug, the person will fall asleep within two to five minutes before slipping into a deep coma, followed soon afterwards by death. Sarco offers a different approach for a peaceful death, without the need for controlled substances.

SWI swissinfo.ch spoke to Philip Nitschke, founder of Australia-registered Exit International, about his innovation, the coffin-like Sarco capsule, and what place he expects it will have in the Swiss assisted dying sector.

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