On August 29, 2020, Hawaii Suicide Pods trended on the Google search. Snopes. Assisted dying is legal in countries like Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Colombia, Canada, Australia, and the US. Before commenting on them, if they are real or not, let’s first know if assisting suicide is legal in the state of Hawaii. Even before that, let’s know what is assisted suicide.
What is Assisted Suicide?
It is defined as suicide committed with another person’s aid, preferably a medical practitioner – a doctor. It simply means that medical aid is provided to people who want to end their life if they feel they are suffering significantly. However, it is only allowed in some states in the US. Assisted Suicide is often used interchangeably with physician-assisted suicide (PAS), physician-assisted dying (PAD), physician-assisted death, assisted death, and aid in dying.
Assisted Suicide is legal in only ten states in the United States. They are California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Montana, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. However, in Montana, there is no specific law for it. But, aid in dying can be requested through a state supreme court decision.
Is Assisted Suicide Legal in Hawaii? When?
Hawaii legalized assisted dying on January 1, 2019. The inspiration was taken from the Oregon and Washington state models. On April 5, 2018, Governor David Ige had signed the corresponding law.
What does the Assisted Suicide law state?
If a person requests medical aid in dying, then according to law, two health care providers will confirm his/her diagnosis, prognosis, the ability to make decisions, it will also be made sure if the request is voluntary, a counselor will be assigned to determine if the person is not suffering from depression.
Further, the person needs to make two oral requests for life-ending medical assistance. There will be a gap of 20 days between those two requests. The person will also have to sign a written request before two witnesses; one of them must not be a relative. However, if someone is found to be forcing or manipulating the other person to commit suicide, then it will be considered as a crime.
Hawaii Suicide Pods: Truth or Hoax
Under the law, doctors can prescribe death as a medical procedure. The post/news regarding the suicide pods being made available in Hawaii first came on a troll Facebook page named The State of Hawaii. Below is the said post.
We can’t immediately confirm if Hawaii has procured suicide pods. But, the existence of such pods is real. The creator of these pods, Dr. Philip Nitschke, had spoken to Independent in 2008 about these suicide machines. His device uses nitrogen gas to cause death, and the occupant dies due to hypoxic death.
Dr. Nitschke got the idea of creating suicide pods after going through the case of British man Tony Nicklinson. His device offers people the option to end their life peacefully without any assistance. After the hypoxiation process gets completed, the biodegradable capsule can be detached. It would serve as the coffin for the dead person.
Dr. Nitschke has named his suicide pods as Sarco – short for the sarcophagus. On April 14, 2018, a VR experience was made available in Westerkerk church in Amsterdam. However, the president of the church board, Jeroen Kramer, refused to permit it.
As of now, the machine has got a push button. But, it would be troublesome for those suffering from physical incapacity. So, according to the doctor, the future version will work with the blink of the eye. Moreover, the doctor had plans to develop a 3D-printable version of the suicide pod.