By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
I have avoided writing about Philip Nitschke’s (“Dr. Death”) Sarco Death capsule that is designed to promote his death business while undermining resistance to suicide.
An article written by Clare O’Dea for Swissinfo.ch says that Switzerland has approved the Sarco death machine. Essentially this article is propaganda to popularize suicide and provide fame for Nitschke.
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.
…Sarco offers a different approach for a peaceful death, without the need for controlled substances.
Sarco, in fact, is a deadly lucrative stunt for Nitschke. O’Dea confirms my thoughts:
The first Sarco is being displayed at the Museum for Sepulchral Culture in Kassel, Germany from September 2021 to August 2022. The second turned out not to be aesthetically pleasing. For that and various other reasons it’s not the best one to use.
In other words, the purpose of Sarco is to enable suicide in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Sarco fulfills Nitschke’s philosophy that suicide should be available to anyone at any time. Nitschke tells O’Dea:
Phillip Nitschke.: Currently a doctor or doctors need to be involved to prescribe the sodium pentobarbital and to confirm the person’s mental capacity. We want to remove any kind of psychiatric review from the process and allow the individual to control the method themselves.
Nitschke has been promoting suicide for years. Many years ago, when he was trying to create the “peaceful suicide pill” he stated that the suicide pill is for anyone, including troubled teens. This is what he told Kathryn Lopez in 2001:
I do not believe that telling people they have a right to life while denying them the means, manner, or information necessary for them to give this life away has any ethical consistency. So all people qualify, not just those with the training, knowledge, or resources to find out how to ‘give away’ their life. And someone needs to provide this knowledge, training, or resource necessary to anyone who wants it, including the depressed, the elderly bereaved, the troubled teen. If we are to remain consistent and we believe that the individual has the right to dispose of their life, we should not erect artificial barriers in the way of subgroups that don’t meet our criteria.
Nitschke is a death salesman and the Sarco is his latest deadly device to create attention to his deadly business, while killing people along the way.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.