The European Rightly
December 19th, 2018
⋅ HEADLINES ⋅

Belgium takes penile prints of asylum seekers

Male asylum seekers entering Belgium will have to cede prints of their erectile penis. ‘We admit fingerprints are too intrusive, that’s why we’re taking penile prints’, government officials say.

Men relieved by Facebook’s new ‘Show me your tits’ button

Of the new ‘Reactions’ Facebook has released, the ‘Show me your tits’ button is by far the most popular. ‘This button expresses what 10,000 likes can’t manage,’ men say. ‘It makes life a whole lot easier.’

Finland debuts retirement homes with built-in suicide mechanism

Claiming it will revolutionise care for the elderly, Finnish company Ulosteet has opened the first home for the elderly with built-in suicide mechanisms. Ulosteet claims they are ‘quick and completely painless.’

A single switch will allow the patient to release an odourless gas into the room, killing them painlessly.

In many countries, suicide among the elderly remains a painful taboo. Not so in Finland, if it would depend on Arvo Makkinen, the CEO of Ulosteet: ‘Elderly people often end up finding themselves in a position of social isolation, ill health and misery. Their life quality suffers.’

Makkinen’s company already owns two homes for the elderly, one in Helsinki and one in Tampere. He claims he got the idea for a room with a built-in suicide switch after visiting the Tampere home. ‘Some people were literally waiting for their next shot of medicine to forget their awful existence. I was deeply moved by what I saw.’

Ulosteet’s next home, slated for construction in the second half of 2014 on the outskirts of peaceful university town Oulu, will have an easily accessible switch in every room that locks windows and doors and will release an odourless gas. The carbon-monoxide based gas will first put the patient to sleep and eventually kill them through oxygen deprivation.

‘The switch will be very easy to pull, requiring only little exertion, and will be at an easily accessible height,’ explains Makkinen with a diagram demonstrating how the mechanism works. The gas also warms up the room to a comfortable temperature, reminding the dying of happier times spent at the sauna – a typical Finnish institution.

But what if the switch is pulled by accident? ‘Well, if you accidentally pull a switch that says ‘suicide’ on it in big red letters, maybe it’s more humane for you to go anyway, don’t you think? However, there is an emergency button that reverses the process if other people are accidentally locked into the room with the individual who wishes to die.’

Makkinen shows another button on the diagram, located on the wall near the door. ‘Some old people can be pretty spiteful, and we don’t want them to turn their rooms into a murder site.’

Arvo Makkinen:
‘The people who get sentimental about this are often among the first ones to dump their grandparents in one of our homes’

When confronted with the idea that homes for the elderly often contribute to an older person’s feelings of inadequacy and depression, Makkinen hand-waves that away that objection. ‘The people who get sentimental about this are often among the first ones to dump their grandparents in one of our homes.’

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