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Thread: Suicide machines?

  1. Top | #11
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    In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream
    At night we ride through the mansions of glory in suicide machines
    'Born to run'

  2. Top | #12
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Have some experience with forensics. Do not recommend handgun method. Ouch.

    Hypoxia is a nice way to go. Maybe the best.

  3. Top | #13
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    I can see it now (in some cases) ... heir to very large fortune tried to plead with rich relative not to use machine, but rich relative insisted, by the only method to communicate , by blinking with his eyes.

  4. Top | #14
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post

    It's a sort of "death pod". One gets inside of it, and it then supplies nitrogen gas. It kills by suffocation, because it isn't oxygen. The pod has windows, so that its user can see outside of it. So one can die as one watches some outdoor scenery, like a sunset.

    Other gases could work, especially noble gases. I know of someone who committed suicide by breathing helium. He researched various ways of dying and he decided that breathing helium was the most pleasant way to go.
    The air you're breathing is already mostly nitrogen; it won't kill you. What such a hood does is slowly change the proportion of nitrogen to oxygen in your breathing space, until there isn't enough oxygen present to maintain normal functions, especially those of your brain. Your brain absolutely relies on oxygen for most of its processes, since it is the catalyst for the creation of glucose, the chemical that supplies the rest of your brain with energy and therefore is necessary for any sort of neural activity. This is so critical that more than a fifth of your overall oxygen intake is devoted to keeping your brain running.

    Brain damage runs ahead of perception, as always. Cell death begins almost immediately in an anoxic space, becoming irreversible after about a minute as neurons themselves stop functioning. Low-oxygen environments will take longer, but it is still a frighteningly swift process. Disablement is easier to accomplish than death, as you tend to instinctively panic and do things like (for instance) panic and get out of your death pod. Hence helium and xanax and etcetera to belay this response, though I would be surprised if either work 100% -- brains are both resilient and adaptive, and those panic feelings serve a purpose- your brain will produce them if it can, even if it has to jerry-rig the entire system to do it.

    In any case, you might be able to save your life at thst point, but cell death is cell death. If you've lost a piece of your neural lattice, you've lost a part of your body function, and a change in something like your personality or ability to communicate is almost certain. Your brain, in crisis mode, tries to preserve core functions, but it does so at the cost of your prefrontal cortex where all of those nice fancy higher brain functions partially reside. So I suspect any attempt at suicide by these means will be successful if serious, at least in a sense. The body might survive, but "you" will not. The brain will have to rebuild itself, but it won't do it in the same shape.

    Five minutes? You're probably dead, unless you're a seasoned deep seadiver or US Marine or something. Even the most fervent efforts of your brain to keep its basic processes going can't work if glucose production is hindered for long enough. Your brain enters a state akin to a seizure, an aimless electrical storm; your organs stop working, and one by one your various life functions cease. The process does not take long, and you almost certainly won't survive. CPR can restart a heart, but it cannot rebuild a fatally compromised neural network.

  5. Top | #15
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    The air you're breathing is already mostly nitrogen; it won't kill you. What such a hood does is slowly change the proportion of nitrogen to oxygen in your breathing space, until there isn't enough oxygen present to maintain normal functions, especially those of your brain. Your brain absolutely relies on oxygen for most of its processes, since it is the catalyst for the creation of glucose, the chemical that supplies the rest of your brain with energy and therefore is necessary for any sort of neural activity. This is so critical that more than a fifth of your overall oxygen intake is devoted to keeping your brain running.
    Oxygen is not used to make glucose. Instead, oxygen is *combined* with glucose and other small food molecules -- sugars, fatty acids, and amino acids (protein building blocks). These molecules are elaborately disassembled, and the hydrogen in them combined with oxygen to make water. Like this possible example, not necessarily a real one:

    Methane
    CH4 + H2O -> CH3OH + 2H
    Methanol
    CH3OH + H2O -> CH2O + 2H
    Formaldehyde
    CH2O + H2O -> HCOOH + 2H
    Formic Acid (Formate)
    HCOOH -> CO2 + 2H

    The 2H's are combined with other molecules, and they are transferred to oxygen in the respiratory chain, as it's called. This transfer extracts energy from them, energy that is used to power the cell.

    For some reason, nerve cells only like to use glucose as a foodstuff, unlike other kinds of cells, which can also use the others.

  6. Top | #16
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Each Organ Has a Unique Metabolic Profile - Biochemistry - NCBI Bookshelf
    1. Brain. Glucose is virtually the sole fuel for the human brain, except during prolonged starvation. The brain lacks fuel stores and hence requires a continuous supply of glucose. It consumes about 120 g daily, which corresponds to an energy input of about 420 kcal (1760 kJ), accounting for some 60% of the utilization of glucose by the whole body in the resting state. Much of the energy, estimates suggest from 60% to 70%, is used to power transport mechanisms that maintain the Na+-K+ membrane potential required for the transmission of the nerve impulses. The brain must also synthesize neurotransmitters and their receptors to propagate nerve impulses. Overall, glucose metabolism remains unchanged during mental activity, although local increases are detected when a subject performs certain tasks.

    ...
    Fatty acids do not serve as fuel for the brain, because they are bound to albumin in plasma and so do not traverse the blood-brain barrier. In starvation, ketone bodies generated by the liver partly replace glucose as fuel for the brain.

    2. Muscle. The major fuels for muscle are glucose, fatty acids, and ketone bodies.
    Ketone bodies are related to fatty-acid metabolism. A fatty acid gets shrunk as its energy is extracted from it, with ketone bodies being as far as this shrinking can go.

  7. Top | #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    If you're an asshole who wants to leave a mess, you can always just use a revolver.
    To the 95% of us who are not American, revolvers are hard to obtain.

    They are also less likely to provide a painless death, unless the individual is both a keen student of human anatomy, and an excellent shot in a difficult situation.

    A terminally ill person may well be incapable of lifting a revolver, much less aiming it correctly to ensure death (and it's even more difficult to ensure painless death).
    If you're able-bodied a shot through the mouth is pretty reliable--a shotgun would be better. The people who commit suicide for medical reasons are likely not able to handle it well enough to aim properly.

    I do think a nitrogen pod system would be a good idea. What we have seen from places where euthanasia is legal is that a lot of people don't choose to fight the slow things to the end.

  8. Top | #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Brain damage runs ahead of perception, as always. Cell death begins almost immediately in an anoxic space, becoming irreversible after about a minute as neurons themselves stop functioning. Low-oxygen environments will take longer, but it is still a frighteningly swift process. Disablement is easier to accomplish than death, as you tend to instinctively panic and do things like (for instance) panic and get out of your death pod. Hence helium and xanax and etcetera to belay this response, though I would be surprised if either work 100% -- brains are both resilient and adaptive, and those panic feelings serve a purpose- your brain will produce them if it can, even if it has to jerry-rig the entire system to do it.
    Disagree--people in anoxic but not otherwise hostile atmospheres don't notice anything wrong. Hypoxia training involves a normal atmosphere at low pressure, it's stopped before reaching the point of damage but again, the people undergoing it don't have any panic reaction. The purpose is to help them recognize that they're suffering from a lack of oxygen, hopefully buying them a few more seconds to act if it ever happens for real. (It's for those who will be operating flying craft at altitudes where oxygen is necessary. If a plane loses all pressure at jetliner altitudes the pilots have only seconds to don their masks.)

    In any case, you might be able to save your life at thst point, but cell death is cell death. If you've lost a piece of your neural lattice, you've lost a part of your body function, and a change in something like your personality or ability to communicate is almost certain.
    You pass out well before the point of permanent damage.

  9. Top | #19
    Contributor barbos's Avatar
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    Lack of oxygen does not cause immediate cellular death. Certainly not in organs other than brain.
    Cellular death happens when oxygen supply is restored. Brain is of course is more complicated but even there there are cases of people being revived after being drowned (in cold water) for 20 minutes without brain damage.

  10. Top | #20
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    I've heard that the "best" (or one of the best anyway) ways to go is to dissolve about 60 to 90 seconals in gatorade and drink it down. Of course, getting one's hand on that many secs may be a problem. Someone told me this was a preferred method among Oregonians (right-to-die state).

    Personally, I'd like to do something along those lines washing it down with some fine whiskey as I lay on an ice floe (which may be an ice cube by the time I'm ready) watching the Aurora Borealis. Euphoria from the freeze; guaranteed death from the toxins; amazing light show. Exeunt.

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