His name is Dr. Philip Nitschke. If that does not sound familiar to you, maybe you'll recognize him by the nickname he inherited from Dr. Jack Kevorkian: "Dr. Death." Nitschke is a doctor in Australia famous for being the first doctor to administer a lethal injection to one of his patients, back in 1996. Kevorkian would do the same two years later and go to prison for second-degree murder.  Nitschke believes that choosing to die must be a fundamental human right, regardless of the disease. He wrote the book "The Peaceful Pill," which is essentially a manual on suicide. He is also the founder of Exit International, a euthanasia advocacy group that is primarily responsible for campaigning for the legalization of assisted suicide.
Nitschke's latest efforts in the field have become high-tech. According to Newsweek, he designed a suicide machine that he calls Sarco and states that the device will allow people to die peacefully.
The Sarco evolved from another solution called "outlet bag". It was a mask that used carbon monoxide. to suffocate the patient. Despite being highly efficient and pain-free, it was not very attractive to patients.
"People do not want to leave the world in such an aesthetically unpleasant way."
With 3D printing increasingly common, Nitschke spent several years designing a more "aesthetically pleasing" way for patients to come out. He describes the Sarco as "elegant and luxurious". In fact, it looks like a futuristic vehicle or a personal spaceship.
"It resembles a spaceship and is intended to convince its user that he or she is traveling to the afterlife," Newsweek said.
The Sarco is made up of two parts: the sarcophagus and the base. The base acts as a support and houses containers of liquid nitrogen. The capsule is designed so that it can be detached from the support and used as a coffin.
Once activated, the nitrogen is released and enters the capsule. After a minute and a half, there is a brief period of intoxication (nitrogen narcosis). Three minutes later, the patient becomes unconscious and death occurs around five minutes.
"Nitschke swore that Sarco's death was relatively painless: there is no suffocation and the user breathes easily, he said, comparing it to a depressurized airplane cabin."
He is currently working on licensing agreements with several suicide clinics in Switzerland, but finally plans to release the open source design.
Although the device will not be legal everywhere, several locations allow the physician assisted suicide. Washington, California, Vermont and Oregon enacted euthanasia laws. Several European countries such as Switzerland and the Netherlands have also legalized it. The state of Victoria in Australia passed legislation this week that allows euthanasia.
As morbid as some may find it, there is a market for Sarco from Nitschke.