thanatron


Dr. Kevorkian's Thanatron -

The word Thanatron means ''death machine'' in Greek. Kevorkian created it so that the patient could pull the trigger.  It works through an intravenous drip into the patients arm.  At first, a harmless saline solution is run into the body.  The patient would then press a button that triggered a device to stop the saline solution and begin releasing a drug called thiopental on a sixty-second timer.  Thiopental would put the patient into a deep coma.  Finally, at the sixty-second timer's click, a lethal dose of potassium chloride would be delivered into the blood stream and stop the heart within minutes.  The patient would die of a heart attack while asleep.

The Thanatron was made from bits and pieces of household tools and toy parts, magnets and electrical switches.  It had an electric clock motor with pulley axle, and a chain and two coils acting as electric bar magnets.

Kevorkian showed it off, including an appearance on the "Donahue" show. He called it "dignified, humane and painless and the patient can do it in the comfort of their own home at any time they want."
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