Here’s some distressing news from Japan: the Society for Dying With Dignity in that country recently created a robotic bear to assist in euthanasia and assisted suicide.
In Japan, doctors and nurses help euthanize those who are unable to themselves due to physical, or psychological reasons. Understandably, that role can take a toll on even the most accomplished caregivers. It’s not fun aiding someone in ending their life. That;s where robot-bear comes into play.
The assisted suicide support robot, called SeppuKuma, has the face of an innocent, loveable cartoon-like bear. But it was designed to aid patients in self-euthanasia – it has robotic arms that are able to carry up to 80kg of weight, and hands that are powerful enough to crush human bone.
SeppuKuma also offers 23 very different methods to end a life, including Everlasting Sleep (lethal injection), Pillow Kisses (suffocation), Peaceful Breath (helium asphyxia) and Sleepy time Hug which is where the robotic bear strangles its partner until their pulse stops for 15 minutes.
The JSDD is hoping the robot bear will further the goal of the right to die movement. Personally I think allowing people to be crushed to death by a robot bear, innocent looking or not, is not going to do much to aid their cause.