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Peaceful Pill Blog

What if there were a Shop for Nembutal?

Over summer, Exit's Philip Nitschke made the trek to the Dutch city of Utrecht to have a look at the new XTC (ecstasy) pop-up shop, asking what if there were a Shop for Nembutal? An initiative of the Poppi Drug Museum in Amsterdam and in partnership with the University of ...
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Backlog of Euthanasia Requests by Mental Health Sufferers

In a report to the Dutch Parliament this week, the Dutch Minister for Health, Ernst Kuipers, has reported on the problems associated with the backlog of euthanasia requests by mental health sufferers (inc those with dementia) in the Netherlands. Reports such as this are a key element in the Netherland's ...
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Pros & Cons of Couples Going Together

The Pros & Cons of Couples Going Together is a topic that needs comment, especially in light of the recent alleged botched double suicide of Exit Members Marijke and Tony Smyth in Queensland in Australia. By Fiona Stewart I want to compare this awful ordeal (at least as it was ...
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Be careful who you tell

Be careful who you tell is the message from Exit's long-time Melbourne Chapter Coordinator, Chris Lovelock. After long and careful consideration and forethought Chris had made an Exit Plan. Chris told a 'close friend' about this plan. Unfortunately, the so-called 'close friend' then told the Police. Here is what happened ...
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Legalising assisted suicide is a slippery slope says Dr Anthony Latham

Legalising assisted suicide is a slippery slope says Dr Anthony Latham in the Scotsman. Not so fast says Exit! When an opinion piece appears in the right to life press, my tendency is usually to dismiss it. Because it is written for a specific, one-eyed readership, it is to be ...
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The Swiss Option Just Got Harder

The Swiss Option Just Got Harder in what some say is a veiled attempt to stop foreigners having a VAD in Switzerland. This week the Swiss Medical Association (SAMS) tightened its grip over when and how Swiss doctors can provide assisted suicide. While, from a legal point of view, anyone ...
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Cancel Culture gets Uncancelled with Podcast Published

In January 2022 Exit Director Philip Nitschke was contacted by the 'Let's Get Psyched' radio show and podcast series which is hosted by a group of psychiatrists/ psychologists at the University of California, Riverside with an invitation to take part in their program. Let's Get Psyched wrote: 'The hosts at ...
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Marie Fleming & Exit International Ireland

The Backstory of Marie Fleming & Exit International Ireland I first met Marie Flemming in 2011, a few years before she died. Having only recently become acquainted with Tom Curran, Tom had invited us down to his stone cottage in countryside Arklow for an evening meal. At that time Marie ...
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Sarco goes Viral & the Backstory

Sarco goes Viral & the Backstory is a behind-the-scenes look at how the word Switzerland started trending globally on social media because of a story about the Sarco Assisted Suicide Capsule (as it has now become known). NOTE - The February 2022 Update to the Peaceful Pill eHanbook features a ...
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Fudging the Facts in the Azide Wars

This week in Fudging the Facts in the Azide Wars, my old colleague, psychiatrist Boudewijn Chabot wrote a prominent opinion piece in the Dutch newspaper NRC called 'I can't warn enough about Middel X'. Normally, I would welcome an opinion from a fellow activist, but not this week. Chabot's column ...
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August 16, 2020

Sarco X Arrives with Oxygen Dropping to < 0.6% in 50 Seconds


After more than two years in development, Exit is pleased to say the latest version of the Sarco euthanasia capsule – Sarco X – has passed its final round of laboratory testing.

What does this mean you ask?

It means that Sarco is ready for use!

Sarco X is the 5th iteration of the Sarco concept.

The first 2 Sarcos were stainless steel test tanks. The first tests featured in the Vice Media documentary Time to Die.

The 3rd Sarco was a laser-cut wood feature mould. This was exhibited at the Amsterdam Funeral Fair in 2018.

The 4th Sarco was exhibited at Venice Design 2019 and is now on display at the Cube Design Museum in the Netherlands.

The 5th Sarco is the one that is destined for use in the context of a peaceful and reliable death, most likely in Switzerland.

Sarco X


The concept of Sarco is to create an oxygen-free environment where the person inside the capsule breathes normally, but in a hypoxic environment.

The hypoxia creates a euphoric feeling before the person loses consciousness and dies peacefully soon after.

The Sarco capsule replaces the Exit Bag.

Sarco supplants the yuk factor of a plastic bag with a beautiful 3D-printed enclosure that gives a nod towards future travel to a destination unknown.

The death that Sarco creates is extremely peaceful.

Another important factor of the Sarco is that it is moveable and can be transported to a location of one’s choosing: be it the mountains, a lake or a favourite view.

And while Sarco X is a single person capsule (and pet?), it will be possible in the future to design and print a couples’ model for those who want to go together.

Fiona and Henny in Sarco


As mentioned above, Sarco X is now complete and ready to be used. In order to reach this final completion stage, the capsule was subject to rigorous, repeated lab testing to ensure that the oxygen level within the capsule would plummet sufficiently and in a short enough time frame to ensure a peaceful and reliable death would result.

Philip Nitschke was pleased (and relieved) to establish that the level of oxygen within the capsule dropped from 21%* to < 0.6% within 50 seconds.

* The air we all breathe contains 21% oxygen.

Sarco testing

Aesthetics & 3D Print

In conceptualising the Sarco, beauty and design were foremost considerations. As such, Sarco X reflects the profile of the human figure at rest. The plastic from which it has been printed is translucent in nature. Gentle mauve LED lighting strips create a welcome and comforting embrace.

The importance of 3D-printing the Sarco is to ensure its replication is legal. Exit has no plans to supply or sell the Sarco. Rather, the plans will be included in The Peaceful Pill eHandbook.

It is for the reader to take the plans to a 3D-printer in their local area and take it from there. It is their decision as to whether the Sarco is used as an oxygen health capsule or as a vehicle to an ‘imaginary heaven‘.

Sarco Success

Future Plans

With Sarco now complete, Exit is commissioning a custom trailer to ensure that Sarco can truly be moved. Important features of the trailer are the low wheel base for easy access and the 360 degree rotating platform for view selection perfection.

Until the onset of COVID-19, Exit expected Sarco to be used in 2020. However with international travel now very difficult, it remains to be seen just when Sarco will be used for the first time.

More about Sarco is at

Listen to the Doxit Podcast on Sarco (16 Aug 2020)


July 18, 2020

VAD Survey Results

VAD Survey by Dr David Swanton, Ethical Rights, Canberra Australia

(Survey developed in conjunction with Dr Wendy Gunthorpe, Straight Talk Consulting)

Survey Background

  • Survey conducted: 27 July 2020 –  27 February 2021
  • Sent to World Federation of Right to Die Societies, Exit International, Dying with Dignity (DWD) and Voluntary Euthanasia Societies (VES), who then forwarded it to their members
  • 1640 responses worldwide, ≈1.5% response rate, error ≤3% (95% confidence)
  • That is, given a response to a particular question of, for example 60%, we can be 95% sure that the true percentage of the population who would choose a response lies within the margin of error, that is between 57% and 63%


  • 60% Australia, 18% USA, 6% other European, 5% UK
  • 60% female, 92% were >50y, and 40% were 70–79y
  • 76% not religious;
  • 68% have at least one higher degree
  • 45% belong to Exit, 43% to DWDs, 16% to VESs, and 13% to other organisations
  • 72% did not have disability; 29% of those had particular needs
  • In Australia, 32% had no preferred political party. Supported parties were Greens (20%), Labor (18%), and Liberal (18%)
  • Most people joined to obtain information, practical advice and support their organisation

Attitudes I – VAD Eligibility

Attitudes II – Desired Location of Death


Attitudes III – Quality of Life

Summary of Results

  • There is a need for VAD to be legalised.
  • VAD advocates are mainly older, well-educated, not religious and generally not interested in travelling to another country to die.
  • Regulatory systems should focus on permitting well-informed persons with decision making capacity making voluntary decisions to die.
  • Less importance should be attached to being terminally ill, having doctors administer drugs, residency/citizenship or having limited life expectancy.
  • People with advance directives and those suffering unbearably, (not terminally ill) should have access to VAD.
  • Doctors should be able to prescribe a lethal drug and non-doctors should be permitted to assist with VAD.
  • Consideration should be given to expanding VAD regulation to give access to those suffering from mental illness, dementia, clinical depression and children.

Legalised VAD provides

  • reduced suffering
  • comfort knowing that their end of life needs will be met and illegal options will be unnecessary
  • peace of mind knowing that they won’t suffer if their mental situation worsens with VAD-relevant advance directives won’t require doctors for drug administration
    can have a spouse or partner present at their death

VAD Survey Results

April 19, 2020

Corona Virus is Personal

There is no denying, the Corona Virus is personal.

Not just because it has disrupted the ‘business’ of Exit with our workshops and chapter meetings cancelled and those of you who comprise our membership among the people most at risk due to age (and with age other health complaints).

But, taken together with the expected global recession, the team here at Exit is not really sure what to expect (but who is)?

Is membership of Exit a discretionary spend? Or is having an Exit Plan a vital insurance policy for the future? Because, in the age of Covid, who can be sure what is just around the corner?

But Corona is personal because the Exit team is scattered throughout the countries of the world.

We have team members in Spain, Ireland, France, Italy and Australia (and the US) who are all living through a prolonged compulsory lockdown.

The Dutch are doing much the same although the term in this country is ‘intelligent lockdown’. Nevertheless, the outcome is much the same.

Philip Nitschke

Stay at home, wash your hands and save lives (yours and everyone else’s).

We have team members who have lost older relatives in nursing homes in northern Italy and another team member whose 60-something sister is infected.

It seems everyone knows someone who is effected.

All the while we try and stay optimistic, balancing the pessimism of scientific projections for the future, while recognising the enormous political and economic pressure that governments around the world are under.

Pressure to turn life, as we knew it pre-Covid, back on.

As one whose background is in the sciences, however, I have to admit I’m taking a realist approach to the future.

If I’m honest, I don’t know when the next Exit workshop will be conducted. I don’t know when I will next talk with Exit members face to face.

I don’t know when (or if) I’ll ever see my homeland of Australia and my hometown of Darwin again.

Meanwhile I’m doing what most people are doing: devising new ways of working, of getting the Exit message out and of ensuring that those people who want end of life options, have them in place.

To achieve this, we are working on:

  • Livestream Exit workshops (3 x in June – August 2020)
  • Weekly Podcasts (commencing 26 April)
  • Ongoing monthly PPeH Updates
  • Online PP Forums
  • Life Member online video appointments (forthcoming)

I urge Exit members to stay with Exit during this difficult time.

Please continue to support the organisation financially, if you can.

We are one community. Our common goal of choice has not changed.

And take care.


Vale – John Prine

(October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020)

So if you’re walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes,
Please don’t just pass ’em by and stare
As if you didn’t care, say, “Hello in there, hello.”

Hello In There

John Prine

March 29, 2020

All About Chloroquine

STOP PRESS –  Coming in June 2020 – PPeH Update on Chloroquine Phosphate & Hydroxychloroquine


As readers may have heard, Hydroxy-chloroquine and Chloroquine Phosphate (both anti-malarial drugs) have both been widely reported as possible treatments for COVID. This stems from their anti-viral properties.

Although their efficacy in fighting COVID is far from certain (despite what Donald Trump says), their role as a reliable end of life drug is beyond dispute.

Exit first included a Chapter about Chloroquine in the Peaceful Pill eHandbook back in 2015.

The Exit RPA test gives the drug an end of life rating of 72% with a 10/10 rating for availability.

The topic will be revisited in the April 2020 update to the Peaceful Pill eHandbook.

Philip Twitter Cloroquine

However, the attention Chloroquine has received because of the COVID epidemic has had two effects:

  1. It has become impossible to source. Pharmaceutical-grade tablets of Avloclor (Chloroquine) was previously available over the counter, at least in the UK. However, Avloclor is now impossible to purchase.
  2. The flood of publicity has drawn Exit’s attention to the use (and availability) of Chloroquine as an aquarium or fish tank additive to fight disease.

In the post-COVID world (we hope one exists), the use of Chloroquine in home fish tanks will make it exceptionally easy to obtain.

Fish tank chloroquine

While it is impossible to predict what will happen with Chloroquine supplies as the COVID crisis deepens, if it is shown to be ineffective against the virus it will – presumably – return to pharmacies to be once again marketed as an antimalarial, and to pet store shelves as an effective treatment for ‘white spot’ in fish.

In the meantime, those who did not acquire this drug will have little opportunity to do so. Another end of life casualty of COVID-19!