When news broke earlier this month that a Swiss-invented “suicide pod” was cleared for use in the country in 2022, reactions ranged from memes to outrage over the pod’s slick design. And on the corners of the internet convinced that the human population is being controlled into oblivion by a secret order, conspiracy claims erupted.
The “Sarco” pod allows terminally ill users to die a painless and comfortable death by getting into a capsule and filling it with liquid nitrogen gas, causing unconsciousness followed by suffocation. First announced in 2017, the Sarco would only be accessible to users who wished to take their lives for medical reasons, underwent psychological testing confirming their intentions, and then would only be operable with a unique code that would only work for one day. Its inventor even envisions a device that could be created at home with a 3D printer, and which could double as a biodegradable coffin.
Because assisted suicide is such a controversial issue, the announcement brought a range of reactions. Some stories written at the time referred to the pod as offering a dignified and tranquil way to die on one’s own terms when a life without sickness or pain wasn’t possible. Others saw it as dystopian, ghoulish, or even “a glorified gas chamber” that would make suicide seem cool and appealing.
While use of the Sarco would be tightly controlled and is just one option available for Swiss citizens to take their own lives (assisted suicide is legal there under some circumstances), the idea of forced euthanasia has always been a hot topic in conspiracy theory circles.
Fueled by visions of Barack Obama’s supposed “death panels” consigning the sick to execution (rumors that were, in turn, adapted from 1990s’ paranoia about Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan doing the same), conspiracy influencers looked at the pods as an easy way for the New World Order or Deep State to cull the “useless eaters” from the planet.
The Sarco pod was seen by commenters on Reddit’s r/conspiracy as a potential “bait and switch” meant to actually painfully execute people, reminiscent of Brave New World or Soylent Green (the 1973 dystopia film set in 2022 and featuring people killed in euthanizing pods and then turned into food), and compared it to their vision of the COVID-19 vaccine as a killer shot. And a post on the Telegram channel of conspiracy theory account Disclose TV saw commenters call it “evil,” an acceleration of “great replacement” theories, and assumed it would be used by “the state” for mass murder.
The Sarco also bore similarities to another frequent discussion topic in the conspiracy theory world: the idea of “quantum healing beds,” also known as “med beds.” The fervency of med bed beliefs and their visual similarities to the Swiss pods prompted at least one popular discussion on the anti-QAnon subreddit “Qult Headquarters” wondering how long it would be before Sarco pictures were “passed off as proof” that med beds are on their way.
It’s not hard to see why that might happen. Such devices are said by believers to look similar to Sarco pods, but with a much different purpose—to quickly heal you of whatever ailments or diseases you might have. It would use suppressed secret technology that was pioneered by Nikola Tesla (or given to humanity by aliens) (or stolen by time travelers). Just get in the bed, hit a few buttons, and you’re cured.
The details of how they work and what they do tend to vary, but to many people lodged in the world of QAnon or New Age concepts like “starseeds,” the NESARA scam, and galactic treaties between Earth and aliens, med beds are nothing less than a secret key to immortality and eternal health.
Secret technology and suppressed cures for illness are a critical part of the infrastructure of the organized conspiracy theory movement, and the idea of med beds or quantum healing technology (based on the “quantum healing” concept pioneered by alternative medicine guru Deepak Chopra in the late 1980s) has been around for years in one form or another.
The details are always vague, but the promises, made in a range of books, social media posts, and woo-woo websites like “Natural Healing Club” are always lofty, filled with unevidenced claims that defy even the slightest logic.
One 2021 book, the self-published “Following a Spiritual Path: Recovering From Religion Volume 2” describes “three different kinds of Med Beds [that] are already available in the United States,” doing everything from regrowing limbs to “upgrading your DNA” to curing cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Another tome, the Donald Trump-worshiping “The Great Awakening” extols them as “technology to heal all of humanity” that was gifted to us by aliens and held onto by Trump for some reason that only he knows. And med beds are a hit on YouTube, where a 2018 video from “Galactic Update” has gotten nearly half a million views by promising “SUPPRESSED SECRET TECHNOLOGIES: Med Beds, Replicators, Free Energy, Stargates & Antigravity.”
Med beds are also a big part of the mythology of conspiracy movements like QAnon (which never mentions them by name, but does hint at secret and suppressed medical marvels) and the Q offshoot Negative 48, where the Telegram channel Whiplash 347 has made dozens of references to them curing “6,000 diseases” while “making hospital equipment obsolete” and removing the need for people to take medication.
Med Beds are so critical to the existence of some Negative 48 believers that they are practically begging for them in comments on Telegram while claiming that they’re avoiding proven medical treatments as they wait.
“On a personal level, my wife is struggling physically,” wrote one frustrated Q believer whose post was shared by Whiplash 47. “She could use a MED BED. And so could two of our children who have taken the vaccine. They think I am a nut for believing in all this. And how many millions more across the country need a MED BED? My family is struggling, and so is our country.”
While the technology behind med beds that can regrow limbs or upgrade DNA doesn’t exist, the thought is not that far down the rabbit hole. Scientists are studying ways to stimulate the human body to regrow limbs, though the technology is far from usable, while hyperbaric oxygen chambers that look much like many med bed memes are a standard of care for several illnesses.
A Harvard Business Review article from 2011 even talks up “Med Beds” as one of a number of potential ways to deal with the problem of medication dosage errors, describing a mocked-up Med Bed as “a hospital bed equipped with an automated, patient-personalized dispensary unit.” A healthcare executive extolled the prototype Med Bed as “the Ferrari of beds,” but the concept never went further.
Therein lies the critical difference between Sarco pods and med beds. It’s not that one is designed to end life while the other is designed to prolong them. It’s that one is real and the other provides empty hope to desperate people. Negative 48 members have openly spoken of refusing medical treatment or cancer therapy while waiting for their med bed to be available. Some even lead prayers on Telegram for med meds to become available and claim Trump has been let in on their secret.
Because of this reliance on false hope, not even the entire Q and New Age communities believe in the med bed concept. At least one Q promoter has derided the concept on Telegram as “morally bankrupt” and it’s far from a common belief in that community. Many Q and stolen election gurus tend to focus their energy on what they perceive as more achievable goals, like Donald Trump being restored to office thanks to a lawsuit by a pillow magnate.
Much like the economic utopia of NESARA (a belief that runs rampant in the same circles as belief in med beds) the real hope isn’t about the great things med beds can do, but about the great things they will do once the deep state or New World Order allows them to be used. And that great moment is always about to happen, and never quite happens, for reasons that never quite make sense. As the “Natural Healing Club” website put it in February 2021, “Holographic Medical Pods or Med Beds are not available to the general public at this time, if all stays the course, this will hopefully change within the coming year or so.”
Apparently, all did not stay the course, and the med beds continue to remain out of reach. On the other hand, Sarco pods should be available for use in Switzerland early next year, without lofty promises or vague hope, but with the idea that death with dignity is an achievable goal.