The pods, designed to help those with terminal illness end their lives, raise questions about the ethics and legality of assisted suicide. Find out more in the caregiver news rundown in the video below.
An Australian company, Exit International, invented a 3D printed capsule, Sarco, that can be used to end a person’s life. The company is working to bring the pods to market in Switzerland, where assisted suicide is already legal. The pods work by flooding the chamber with nitrogen, which reduces oxygen levels and causes a person to lose consciousness. The idea is to make it possible for anyone to download the 3D plans, print a pod and choose to end their life.
The pods are stirring up international debate over the ethics and legality of assisted suicide. Supporters argue patients with terminal diagnoses should have the ability and ease to choose to end their lives when and how they choose, while others believe the pods are illegal.
The debate in the U.S.
While it’s unlikely we’ll see assisted suicide pods legalized in the United States in the near future, several recent studies show the majority of Americans support medical aid in dying or assisted suicide. A 2020 Gallup Poll found 75% of Americans believe, “When a person has a disease that cannot be cured…doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient’s life.”
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom just extended and loosened some of the restrictions on the state’s End of Life Option Act, which gives terminally ill patients the ability to end their life with a doctor’s assistance. Currently 10 states in the U.S. allow for physician-assisted suicide. Keep reading to learn more about death with dignity laws.