Thousands of visitors flocked to the annual Amsterdam Funeral Expo at the city’s famous Westerkerk, where all the latest trends in death, such as biodegradable coffins and a hot-rod funeral hearse were on display.
A Suicide machine created by a scientist known as Dr Death that enables its occupant to kill themselves at a press of a button was on display.
Called the “Sarco”, short for Sarcophagus, the 3D-printed machine invented by Australian euthanasia activist Philip Nitschke and Dutch designer Alexander Bannink comes with a detachable coffin, mounted on a stand that contains a nitrogen canister.
“The person who wants to die presses the button and the capsule is filled with nitrogen. He or she will feel a bit dizzy but will then rapidly lose consciousness and die, This is a situation where one person chooses to press a button… rather than for instance standing in front of a train. I believe it’s a fundamental human right (to choose when to die). It’s not just some medical privilege for the very sick. If you’ve got the precious gift of life, you should be able to give that gift away at the time of your choosing,” Nitschke said.
The first fully-operational pod is due to be displayed at the end of the year.
Thereafter, the design will be put online as an open-source document, meaning anybody can log onto the internet and print the device themselves.
There has been considerable opposition to the machine becoming publicly available.