Exit’s first trials of the home-made Peaceful Pill – the ‘Nicky Finn’ - were completed in 2004. Named after the famous Micky Finn drink of the Lone Star Saloon in Chicago in the early 1900s, Exit’s Nicky Finn was made from alcohol and nicotine.
Manufactured by chlorinating alcohol and combining this chloral hydrate with pure nicotine, the Nicky Finn should prove highly effective and highly lethal when taken as a drink. Although synthesis was straightforward, the difficulty in testing this untried product left questions about this strategy unanswered.
A group of intrepid Exit International members launched the ‘Peanut Project’ in early 2005. Named after an old-fashioned street term for barbiturate (Peanuts), the Peanut Project brought together a group of elderly people to create their own barbiturate. Could they synthesise Nembutal?
How could they make something that:
• they could take orally • could be manufactured without outside assistance • would provide a peaceful and dignified death • would be reliable with negligible risk of failure.