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The Exit Internationalist

July 25, 2019

Controversial euthanasia advocate ‘Dr Death’ unveils new 3D-printed suicide pod

Adam Mccleery, Daily Mail Australia

  • Controversial doctor to unveil new 3D-printed suicide pod on Gold Coast todayDr Philip Nitschke created the Sarco Pod after decades of euthanasia advocacy
  • He said the pod would provide an ‘almost euphoric’ end to the patient’s life
  • The pod will be unveiled at the Disrupting Death workshop on the Gold Coast


A controversial doctor is set to unveil a new 3D-printed ‘suicide pod’ at a ‘Disrupting Death’ workshop on the Gold Coast on Thursday.

Australian doctor Philip Nitschke, also known as ‘Dr Death’, flew into Queensland on Wednesday ahead of the workshop where he is set to unveil the Sarco Pod.

While working as a doctor in Darwin 22 years ago Dr Nitschke said he wanted to help patients with terminal illnesses die with dignity.

A lethal injection would have been an option but instead he designed his first ‘delivery machine’ which has now evolved into the Sarco Pod.

‘The idea of using a machine to have absolute control really has been a long-term interest of mine,’ he told Exit International.

He spent the following decades perfecting the idea before unveiling it in Europe and bringing it back to his homeland.

The Sarco Pod is currently on display in Venice after two years of development and six months of production but the workshop on the Gold Coast will be the first to see footage of the pod.

Dr Nitschke said the pod delivers a level of autonomy and control for the patient and can be created using a 3D printer at a cost of between $4000 and $8000.

The pod contains canisters of liquid nitrogen at its base along with a removable capsule compartment.

The liquid nitrogen is then used to bring oxygen levels in the pod down to five percent which causes the patient to pass out peacefully before dying minutes later.

‘So, a person can, with minimal involvement, get into the machine and press a button for a very peaceful, elegant almost-euphoric death,’ Dr Nitschke told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Dr Nitschke said the pod delivers a level of autonomy and control for the patient through the use of liquid nitrogen to limit the oxygen inside the pod and causes them to fade away

‘Suicide is not a crime — not even in Queensland — so if you print your own machine and you don’t have to use illegal drugs to die, it’s not a crime.’

Suicide is not recognised as a criminal offence in any Australian state or territory.

One of the selling points of the Sarco Pod is the freedom it would give patients, with Dr Nitschke saying they could move it to any location to have a ‘last view’ before death.

The pod has not been used in a suicide yet but trials have been conducted to test the pod’s capabilities.

A person would have to pass an online mental fitness test before being given an access code.

The access code is required in order to get the pod to work and fill the capsule with liquid nitrogen.

Dr Nitschke told the Independent he was not trying to glamourise the idea of a patient taking their own life.

‘Death shouldn’t be something you do hidden away in a back room somewhere,’ he told the publication.

The Gold Coast workshop is exclusively for people over 50 or those who are seriously ill.

Dr Nitschke founded Exit International in 1997 to advocate for euthanasia and dying with dignity.

‘Exit’s aim is to ensure that all rational adults have access to the best available information so that they may make informed decisions over when and how they die,’ the website read.

‘Exit is a non-profit Australian public company with an online membership of around 30,000 supporters around the world.’