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Soulaje Self-Administered Euthanasia Wearable Prototype

ProtoPolicy, a UK think-tank experiment carried out in the UK, sought to use speculative design by individuals as a way of anticipating and creating new policies.


(Soulaje self-administered euthanasia wearable)

To explore design fiction as an exploration of public unknowns, ProtoPolicy assembled an interdisciplinary team, co-managed by the universities of Lancaster and Falmouth, assisted by the studio Design Friction and members of All-Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation and PDR from Cardiff Metropolitan University.

The aim of the two co-creation workshops was to identify main topics connected to ageing in place...

During workshops, participants were introduced to emerging technologies invited to develop “what if?” scenarios occurring in a near future. Groups of participants went on to design a range of speculative services and products in response to their understanding of upcoming public policies...

Soulaje is a self-administered euthanasia wearable. It tends to look like any smart watch, only it allows elderly people to autonomously end their life when they feel the time has come. A series of safeguarding procedures ensures that the object cannot be used on an impulsive death wish. The rhetoric behind this provotype was balanced with a fictitious flyer protesting against self-administered euthanasia.

(Via Medium.)

Science fiction readers have long been familiar with the idea of exploring issues in the medium of speculative fiction; consider the Government Lethal Chamber from The Repairer of Reputations, by Robert W. Chambers in 1895:

"The Government has seen fit to acknowledge the right of man to end an existence which may have become intolerable to him, through physical suffering or mental despair."
(...)
He paused, and turned to the white Lethal Chamber. The silence in the street was absolute. "There a painless death awaits him who can no longer bear the sorrows of this life."

See also this detail from a personal euthanasia kit mentioned in The Dark Brown Dress (1921).


(Personal euthanasia from 'The Dark Brown Dress' (1921))

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