A COFFIN-LIKE capsule that allows people to end their life could be used in Switzerland from next year, its creators say.
The Sarco suicide pod allows a user to lie down and activate the process themselves within a matter of minutes.
Individuals are asked a series of questions before they can press a button, which brings oxygen down to a critical level.
Nitrogen fills the 3D-printed device, quickly bringing oxygen down from 21 per cent to only 1 per cent in about 30 seconds.
A "disorientated" and "euphoric" feeling then follows, before they eventually lose consciousness.
Death takes places due to hypoxia (low oxygen in the body's tissues) and hypocapnia (reduced carbon dioxide in the blood), followed by critical oxygen and carbon dioxide deprivation.
Dr Philip Nitschke, whose Exit International organisation came up with the capsule, told local media there is "no panic, no choking feeling".
"The machine can be towed anywhere for the death," he said.
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"It can be in an idyllic outdoor setting or in the premises of an assisted suicide organisation, for example.
"The person will get into the capsule and lie down.
"It’s very comfortable.
"Barring any unforeseen difficulties, we hope to be ready to make Sarco available for use in Switzerland next year."
Around 1,300 people ended their life using assisted suicide in Switzerland last year.
The Swiss government is yet to make clear whether it intends to allow use of the capsule.
For anyone struggling to cope, call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or contact other sources of support, such as those listed on the NHS’s help for suicidal thoughts webpage.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
In other news, a tiny hut dubbed the "mysterious house" has been spotted on the far side of the moon.
Meanwhile, Nasa has warned a massive asteroid bigger than the Eiffel Tower is expected to hurtle within Earth's orbit this weekend.
And safety experts have cautioned people against a microwave hack shared on TikTok, saying it could lead to "serious risk of fire".
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