The World Doesn’t Need a Suicide Machine That Makes Killing Yourself Pleasurable

The World Doesn’t Need a Suicide Machine That Makes Killing Yourself Pleasurable by Wesley Smith for Life News

Just what the world didn’t need — a suicide machine that promises to make users die pleasurably in just 30 seconds. Ready or not, it’s here. The “Sarco Suicide Pod” has been approved for use in Switzerland, a country that already accommodates “suicide tourism,” that is, for-pay clinics that people attend from around the world to be made dead.

The Swiss blessing of the life-extinguishing machine — the invention of the Australian suicide proselytizer, Philip Nitschke (more about whom below) — received ubiquitous, and mostly non-critical, international media coverage.

For example, Yahoo News described the device as a “3-D-printed portable coffin-like capsule with windows that can be transported to a tranquil place for a person’s final moments of life.” Other than listing the phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 1-800-273-8255 — no critics were quoted in the story nor were the many pronounced dangers to suicidal people in making self-termination seem desirable, described.

Ditto, the story published in Business Insider, which quoted Nitschke as happily chirping that people will now be able to commit assisted suicide without having “to get any permission.” EuroNews even quoted Nitschke extolling his device as, “democratising the dying process.” Nor is the machine to be restricted to the ill or disabled. “We consider it a right for all rational adults to be able to divest themselves of their life,” Nitschke said.

Australian euthanasia activist Philip Nitschke (aka the “Australian Doctor Death”), the inventor of a 3D-printed suicide machine, presented at the Amsterdam Funeral Expo, poses during a portrait session in Amsterdam on April 14, 2018.

Indeed, of the several stories I perused about the Sarco Pod’s approval, only the Washington Post’s included a critic worrying that the machine could glamorize suicide. Alas, that horse is long out of the barn.

Consider the tragic case of Brittany Maynard. Most readers older than 20 will remember the young woman, stricken with terminal brain cancer, who was elevated by the media into an A-list international celebrity after announcing she had moved to Oregon to commit assisted suicide.

How famous did she become? People Magazine featured her at least twice in fawning cover stories, and devoted 1700 words to her obituary — a novel-length tome for that publication. She was lauded by Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopie Goldberg on The View. CNN named Maynard one of its “11 Extraordinary People of 2014” because she committed suicide “dying on her own terms.”

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