Euthanasia group to manufacture plastic suicide bags

An Australian pro-euthanasia group says it willl begin making plastic bags to help its members commit suicide.

An Australian pro-euthanasia group says it willl begin making plastic bags to help its members commit suicide.

The bags are made of thick clear plastic and are big enough to fit over a person's head.

The "Exit bag" has an adjustable elastic collar that can be tightened to slowly deprive the user of oxygen.

"They are the poor person's access to a peaceful death," said Philip Nitschke, the doctor who founded the Exit group.

The bag is an improvement on a design Exit was importing until the Canadian manufacturer was arrested, he said.

He said the bag and collar are designed so a person goes to sleep breathing easily. Once asleep, the collar slips into place and oxygen inside eventually runs out.

Euthanasia is illegal in Australia. Helping people commit suicide is also illegal in Queensland state, where Nitschke plans to launch the bags on August 20 as part of his campaign for euthanasia law reform.

Exit, which has 2,300 members, runs workshops around Australia advising terminally ill people on how to commit suicide.

About 500 of the bags will be manufactured in the first run, but only given to members of Exit who attend the workshops and are instructed in their use.

The bags will not have instructions with them, just a warning that it is dangerous to place them over your head.

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