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I am hoping to get access to your ‘peaceful pill’ – not for immediate use, but to have on hand should my health deteriorate too much in the future. Arthur, 77 years
The barbiturate Sodium Pentobarbital is the drug that comes closest to the concept of the Peaceful Pill. Exit defines the ‘Peaceful Pill’ as a pill, tablet or mixture that can be taken orally and that is guaranteed to provide a peaceful, dignified death at a time of one’s choosing.
A Short History of Barbiturates
Sodium Pentobarbital or Nembutal as it is commonly called is an important and historically significant drug. Although Nembutal is one of over 50 barbiturate derivatives to have been used medically, it is the drug of choice when it comes to dignified, peaceful dying.
All Barbiturates are derivatives of barbituric acid which was first synthesized by Adolph von Bayer in 1864. A ‘condensation’ of malonic acid and urea, barbituric acid is said to have acquired its name after St Barbara’s Day (4 December) - the day on which it is believed to have been discovered.