Police catch man who rented out homemade suicide chair used to kill two people

In 2007, after eight years, Dr. Jack Kevorkian was released from prison for assisting in the deaths of over 100 people in the United States. In many deaths, the rogue doctor used a hand-crafted suicide device called the “Thanatron.” The Thanatron machine, named after a Greek god who impersonated death, was not as imposing as it sounds. His machine was basically a series of automated drip lines set to release their poison once a button was pushed, presumably by the person wishing to die.  

While it is unknown if Paul Tammert, an Estonian assisted-suicide activist, was inspired by the Thanatron or simply his own motivation, Tammert built his own “suicide machine” and it was used by people to kill themselves, according to prosecutors.  Unlike the Thanatron, Tammert’s machine relied on poisonous levels of gas to kill its users.

Tammert was arrested in Estonia on October 26 for his illegal activity. A third person’s life was spared only because Tammert’s machine ran out of gas.” According to ERR news, he faces up to only three years in prison for his offenses.

READ: Assisted suicide ‘Dr. Death’ activist approved for non-profit status

Not only did Tammert design and build the machine, but also made financial gain from its rental. Included with the rental fee, the Estonian activist also performed perfunctory physical and mental assessments of the renters. According to Alex Schadenberg’s blog at Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Tammert is a itinerant assisted suicide activist no longer satisfied with simple political agitation.

Remarkably, Tammert was only charged for practicing medicine without a license instead of manslaughter or worse. The shift in mentality around the globe from assisted suicide as a possible instance of murder to simply a “medical procedure” is becoming more evident.

As assisted suicide and euthanasia each become normalized as routine medical procedures in Canada and elsewhere, the growing consensus is that it will increase in suicide generally. A 2022 study of American and European data confirms that “assisted suicide is associated with a significant increase in total suicide (inclusive of assisted suicide) and no reduction in non- assisted suicide.”


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