Assisted suicide pod not approved by the Swiss government


If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, you can call the United States National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of the day or night, or chatting on the internet.

The claim: Switzerland is the first country to approve the “suicide chamber”

Assisted suicide is permitted in different circumstances in countries around the world and in parts of the United States, but doctors and assistants often must be present to facilitate the process.

Country in Europe is potentially on track to enable patients to die painlessly and without assistance, says Facebook post of December 6.

“Switzerland becomes the first country to approve the ‘suicide chamber’; a 3D printed capsule that allows patients to painlessly commit suicide at the push of a button,” reads an image that has racked up nearly 400 shares and 1,200 likes in a week.

The message includes a photo of a futuristic-looking red and black capsule shaped like a coffin.

The image shared on Facebook is a screenshot of a post from the “Yup That Exists” account, including Facebook post from December 7 gathered over 5,000 interactions in one day before it was deleted.

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The machine exists. It’s a device that could play a role in assisted suicides in Switzerland, where the pod recently passed an independent legal review claiming it complies with Swiss law. But the Swiss government was not involved in the review and has not approved the device for use.

USA TODAY has contacted the Facebook user who posted the image and the group that originally posted the post for comment.

No legal issues with the invention, independent review conclusion

The claim that the device has been approved by Switzerland seems to come from an article from December 6 with an interview with the creator of the capsule, Philip Nitschke, by the local media Swiss Info.

According to a archived version of the article, the original headline read: “Sarco’s Suicide Pod ‘Passes Legal Exam’ in Switzerland.” The article did not say it had been approved by the government.

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The device has not received government approval, Nitschke confirmed to USA TODAY in an email.

Nitschke said the company had requested an independent legal review from a consultant to “make sure we were on safe legal ground by not requesting a formal review of the device.” He said the review concluded that Exit International – the company making the capsule – did not need formal government approval.

Swiss doctor, the national agency responsible for authorizing medical products and drugs in Switzerland, told USA TODAY in an email that it did not approve the device.

“We never heard of this capsule until the information was released to the media,” the spokesperson said. Alex josty. The country’s Federal Council did not respond to USA TODAY’s requests for comment.

When, how will it be available?

The current version of the pod, called “The Sarco”, was revealed at the annual design exhibition Venice design in 2019, according to Leave International.

But it has been in the making for a few years, as Nitschke mentioned. His development since 2017.

Before the final product is available for its scheduled release in 2022, the company must develop a camera that would allow the person using it to communicate with outsiders, because “there must be a record of the informed consent of the person, “Nitschke mentioned.

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In Switzerland, a person may incur a financial penalty or be sentenced to up to five years in prison if he incites or assists another person to commit suicide for “selfish motives”, according to article 115 of the law country’s penal code.

But assisted suicide is authorized, and there are several organizations that help people organize it. Dignitas, a nonprofit that helps with the process, said that once the patient has met the criteria and has a prescription from a Swiss doctor for the deadly drug, he can get prescription and accompany you throughout the process.

However, the person must use “good judgment” and have the physical ability to take the medicine on their own without assistance. To get help from a Swiss doctor, a person must be terminally ill, have an “unbearable disabling disability”, or have “unbearable and uncontrollable pain”, according to Dignitas.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we find the claim that Switzerland is the first country to approve a “suicide chamber” FALSE. The device has not been approved by the Swiss government, and its creator told USA TODAY that he did not seek such approval. An independent legal review concluded that the device could be legally used in Switzerland.

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