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The end of you: death and technology

The end of you: death and technology

The human race is generally living longer. On average, we live for around 72 years – around 40 years more than we did 250 years ago.

Technology in general has, of course, been a considerable contributor to this. Whether it's medical research lessening the impact of certain diseases or greater access to better food, the ability to simply live longer is stronger than ever. Of course, there are always issues to be mindful of (pressure sensors to check out) which can lead to difficulties, but the circumstances by which we, and our families, can live fulfilling lives for longer are more prevalent than they have ever been. Opportunities abound for us to be healthy (check out https://wearglow.com).

Big questions, however, remain. One of the biggest is euthanasia: the choice to end your life should you choose to do so. This remains a key sticking point in western societies, and is similar in some ways to the debate over cannabis: both have fostered similar pro- and anti- sides but in a spirit of rational, sensible debate, and there are parts of the world where the practice is legal.

One of the most prominent pro-euthanasia commentators is Australian Philip Nitschke, founder of campaign group Exit International in 1997. He had successfully overturned the ban on euthanasia in the Northern Territory of Australia, with four such events taking place in the decriminalisation period, before the federal Government banned it nationwide.

Euthanasia requires a specialist centre with, of course, specialist equipment (including the best on site Pipette calibration services). However, Nitschke's latest work, the Sarco, allows for anyone to undertake an apparently "euphoric" death wherever they like.

Nitschke intends to release details for how to 3D-print a Sarco online. It is a pod where oxygen is gradually removed from the pod's interior to apparently give an effect of euphoria as the patient dies. The Sarco's portability means that the final act doesn't necessarily have to come with a great deal of formality either. How should you dress? Should you brush your teeth (Check out dental veneers here) or have a bath? These decisions shouldn't matter any more. The patient is not necessarily going to a clinic with a… clinical atmosphere.

Again, like the cannabis debate, Nitschke aims to shake things up a little by working through innovative products that test the perimeters of our tolerance and understanding. Sarco may be something of a Trojan horse, but it's representative of a wider discussion that society, at some point, needs to have.

Exit International: Sarco

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