Fans of Futurama are familiar with the “suicide booth” from the pilot episode where Fry mistook the device for a phone booth and meets the snarky robot Bender who goes in the booth with him revealing that the booth is meant to end life at the choice of the user; quick and painless, slow and horrible, and clumsy bludgeoning.
Well in a macabre turn of events, a real-life “suicide booth” is in the works and guests at the Amsterdam Funeral Expo got a chance to test it out Saturday…virtually! The booth in question is the “Sarco” pod, a 3d printed device created by Australian euthanasia advocate Phillip Nitschke who some call the Elon Musk of assisted suicides.
The Sarco is a mobile device that can be taken anywhere the user wishes it to be. Once inside the user must enter a code to activate the machine which will ask for more confirmation before finally activating. Once activated the machine pumps in nitrogen gas which will cause the user to feel as though they’re drunk before finally passing out and suffocating.
Nitschke invented a device that was commonly used in the 90’s called a “suicide bag” which pretty much does what the Sarco will do but the gas is pumped into a plastic bag attached to the person’s head. Unlike the comedic version from Futurama, the device is not meant to be used for actual suicides but for mercy killings of terminally ill patients or patients suffering from chronic physical pain in which the medical field can’t cure.
For those wondering how Nitschke can get away with his devices/practices, in Australia, there’s the Rights of the terminally ill act that allows terminally ill patients the right to choose to be euthanized by a trained medical professional in which Nitschke was.