‘Tesla of euthanasia’ banned in Switzerland – media

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A futuristic device that reportedly offers a “euphoric death” was due to be deployed for the first time this month

Switzerland has banned a new assisted suicide device dubbed the “Tesla of euthanasia” shortly before its first use, citing a lack of reliable information about the method being employed, according to the local media outlet Blick. 

The public prosecutor’s office in the Swiss canton of Schaffhausen has warned the euthanasia association behind the device, Exit Switzerland, that if it is used “serious legal consequences” could arise, such as a prison sentence of up to five years, Blick writes.

The futuristic-looking apparatus, called Sarco (short for sarcophagus), is designed for a person to enter the coffin-like pod, lie down, and press a button. The 3D-printed device then produces a rapid decrease in oxygen level, while maintaining a low CO2 level, thus providing “the conditions for a peaceful, even euphoric death,” according to Exit Switzerland. The pod’s design was intended to suggest “a sense of occasion: of travel to a ‘new destination,’” reads the description of the device.


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Sarco was reportedly due to be used for the first time this month, despite critics and pro-life activists warning that it “glamorizes” death.

“There is no reliable information about the method of killing,” the outlet quotes the prosecutors’ letter as stating. It is therefore “completely unclear who has control over which mechanical process during the dying process,” it adds.

Switzerland’s decades-long policy of permitting assisted dying has prompted what critics describe as “suicide tourism” to the country. In a legal assisted suicide, the means are provided for the terminally ill or those suffering from severely debilitating diseases to end their own lives. Only adults possessing their full powers of judgment who can self-administer the lethal dose are allowed to take their own lives.

Foreigners are reportedly charged between $7,500 and $12,000 for “the management of the aftermath of the death,” such as declaration to the police and health authorities, cremation or burial. Figures given by Swiss euthanasia organizations suggest that interest in assisted suicide has been rising steadily.

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According to Exit, which operates in German-speaking Switzerland and only deals with Swiss residents, in 2023 1,252 people opted to end their lives using the association’s services. The numbers represent an 11% increase in assisted suicide compared to 2022. The association’s members pay membership fees that cover the expenses if one eventually opts to end their life.

Another Swiss assisted dying organization, Dignitas, has reported an 80% increase in British membership over the last decade.  The organization’s other members are predominantly German and French.

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