Co.Design

"Euthanasia Coaster" Would Make Assisted Suicide Fun, At 223 mph

A student designer pushes the thorny moral calculus of assisted suicide to the limit.

No chance of burying the lede on this one: Yes, Royal College of Art student Julijonas Urbonas has designed a roller coaster that kills people on purpose. No, it's not real (yet). Is it a joke, a reductio ad absurdum of the arguments for assisted suicide, or a thought-provoking piece of conceptual art? Our guess: all three.

Urbonas describes the experience of riding his "hypothetic euthanasia machine" thusly: "The rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death... Celebrating the limits of the human body but also the liberation from the horizontal life, this "kinetic sculpture" is in fact the ultimate roller coaster." It's like something out of the biting sci-fi satire film Idiocracy, except it's backed up by "advanced cross-disciplinary research in space medicine, mechanical engineering, [and] material technologies."

coaster

The 1:500 scale model Urbonas constructed doesn't paint as vivid a picture as the stats do. His death-coaster would have over 7,500 meters worth of track, including a half-kilometer-long "drop." During three minutes and 20 seconds of life-extinguishing fun, the coaster would inflict a maximum of 10 g's of force on your body for a full minute, hurtling along at 223 miles per hour. But it doesn't kill you by snapping your neck — sweet release comes courtesy of "Cerebral hypoxia, lack of oxygen supply to the brain." (Bonus effects include, but are not limited to, "loss of color vision; loss of peripheral vision; Blackout; G-LOC -? G-force induced Loss Of Consciousness.")

Urbonas's deadpan descriptions of what various phases of his ride would feel like are worth reading in detail. At one point, the rider's "body would flail around in a chaotic fit that is called "funky chicken" in aeromedical slang." And just in case you don't die, "a biomonitoring suit double-checks if there is a need for the second round, which is extremely unlikely." Questionable taste? No kidding.

But any discussion of assisted suicide is distasteful — and in comparison to tiptoeing around the moral quagmire with euphemisms and empty platitudes, Urbonas's ideas start to sound bracingly honest. After all, if legal assisted suicide is something various governments can manage to stomach, a perverse contraption like "Euthanasia Coaster" becomes just as valid as any other means of getting the job done. Do not go gentle into that good night — do it to the EXXXTREME!

Coaster-2

[Read more at Urbonas's site | Via The Creators Project]

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12 Comments

  • 23Lilith

    Really wish they would show a longer video on the reactions of a rider, from the beginning all the way to the end of the ride. But I also think the creators should be our first riders. (:

  • Sharmain

    " Do not go gentle into that good night -- do it to the EXXXTREME! "

    I have to admit that sounds cool though :))

  • Marie

    THRILLING? You think it'd be THRILLING? You look down deep belowinto that half-kilometer ahead as you speed up faster and faster to a speed of 233mph??! Man, if I'd ever be the one comiiting suicide I'd be SCARED, definitely not happy. o_O

  • Sharmain

    I think... this'd cost a LOT. and once this gets done, there is a possibility that more people will be encouraged to commit suicide, and basically just end their life-- may it be even for the mere curiosity of  how it feels to be on the coaster.

    Otherwise the money used for building the coaster would be a waste, right? But then again, would that be *really* beneficial? :/

  • Amelia

    Quite akin to how people die if their plane breaks apart and falls to the ground from 32k feet. Widespread fear of that mode of death.

  • ian

    Obviously sensational but definitely on the lamer end of RCA critical design. Hypoxia and being crushed by g-forces are incredibly painful. The Onion's "Hassle Free Jumping Days" on the Empire State Building was a a much nicer notion. 

  • adriana zimbarg

    amazing !!! super ultra creative... if i could choose a way to go... this would be definitely one!!!!!!

  • Richard Geller

    I find ordinary roller coasters unpleasant, so I can't imagine choosing this particular method for ending my life. On the other hand, the thought of wasting away with no hope of recovery,while running up a huge bill that only serves to deprive my family of needed resources—that sounds truly obscene and cruel on so many levels.  

  • Riff

    This is terrible. This guy makes me sick... to deal with "over population" or if "your life becomes too long" 
    This guy should be the only one to ride it

  • WTF

    Agree! 

    Auschwitz was designed by the German engineers and the government to get rid of the unwanted at that time.
    Now this guy want to help with overpopulation?
    Why his mother gave birth to him? Didn't she think of overpopulation? Ah...she probably loved him too much

  • Stef

    What a life-affirming moment it would be to survive this coaster. I can do this. Where do I sign up?