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'Suicide machine' unveiled by euthanasia advocate

Choosing when to die is a human right, said Philip Nitschke, the creator of a "suicide machine" called the "Sarco".

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Phillip Nitschke/Twitter

Did you know there's such a thing as a funeral fair? Well, there is, and an unsettling device had its unveiling at one in Amsterdam last week.

Dubbed a "suicide machine" by its Australian creator Philip Nitschke, the "Sarco" is a 3D-printed machine that Nitschke hopes will change the way we die. As you can see above, the Sarco is a human-sized pod which rests on a stand. In that stand sits a canister of nitrogen, which releases into the pod at the press of a button.

"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," he told Agence France-Presse.

Nitschk describes himself as an activist for "voluntary euthanasia and rational suicide," calling them both human rights. He brought a VR experience to last week's funeral fair in Amsterdam to demonstrate the service.

"I believe [choosing when to die is] a fundamental human right. 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," he told AFP.