By recording these preliminary steps, Pegasos safeguards those present against any accusation of coercion. Pegasos can then prove to the authorities that the death was voluntary and was carried out by the person him/herself. The authorities may view the recordings as part of their investigations after you are gone.
Exit would like to acknowledge the extraordinary generosity of Exit Life Member, Zsuzsi Yardley, who died at Pegasos in June 2021. Zsuzsi very kindly gave Exit permission for the film of her final moments to be made public. Zsuzsi’s final moments show the questions that are asked in the lead-up to a VAD. The film also shows how Zsuzsi, herself, rotated the small white wheel of the canula in order to allow the sodium pentobarbital to flow into her veins.
Philip Nitschke says Zsuzsi died peacefully to the music of Mozart, precisely as she wished. He says he was honoured to have been asked by Zsuzsi to be with her at the end.
After a VAD, the local Swiss authorities are called. Those attending include: a representative of the Public Prosecutor’s office, the police and, possibly, an officer from the coroner’s office. These authorities examine the body.
At this point, the person who has been nominated to identify the person after their death will come forward. Once the formalities are complete, the funeral home will collect the body. The person’s ashes are available for collection around 5 working days after the death. Alternatively one’s ashes can be couriered home. Pegasos can arrange for this.