Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Teens’ Parents sue Amazon for Selling “Suicide kits”

Sara Buscher, Chair
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA

Warning: Please don't read this article if you are having suicidal thoughts.

When 16 year old Kristine went missing, her parents panicked. They called 911 and organized a search. Her dad then realized he could use GPS to find her phone. That’s how they found her dead in her Mom’s car with the bottle of Sodium Nitrite she bought from Amazon. The Coroner said the cause of death was “Sodium Nitrite Toxicity” and manner of death was “Suicide.”

When Ethan, age 17, did not come down for breakfast, his Mom found him dead. He was “lying in bed, his legs crossed at the ankles and one arm was raised straight in the air. … Ethan’s skin was mottled and felt cold. She saw thick reddish-brown liquid coming out of his mouth.” She also found a bottle labeled Sodium Nitrite that he bought from Amazon next to a glass with white dried powder and a spoon.”

Kristine and Ethan’s parents have launched a law suit against the manufacturer and Amazon. Their court filing says:

“Amazon consciously sold Kristine and Ethan Sodium Nitrite with the knowledge and understanding it would be used to end their lives.” (Link to the lawsuit). 

A similar suit has been filed by parents of two other children, age 17 and 27, who killed themselves with Sodium Nitrite sold by Amazon and a second manufacturer. (Link to the other lawsuit).

Amazon’s Sodium Nitrite page offers Tagamet, which is said to prevent life-saving vomiting after ingesting a deadly dose.

Amazon also recommends small scales and the “Amazon Edition” of Dr. Philip Nitschke’s suicide instruction book, the “Peaceful Pill Handbook.”

The concentration of Sodium Nitrite sold by Amazon was 98-99% pure, having no household use. Much lower concentrations, 6-7%, are used to preserve or cure meat.

The Peaceful Pill Handbook has a chapter on Lethal Salts that provides specific instructions for using Sodium Nitrite to commit suicide (including taking Tagamet) and lists Amazon as a source for this Lethal Salt.

In June, the Missouri Poison Center called the increasing number of young adult suicides by Sodium Nitrite frightening (Link to article). U.S. poison centers across the country have seen a 166 percent increase in fatalities in 2021 compared to 2018. Their alert said it’s easy to find on line and promoted as an effective method of suicide. 

Similar article: Amazon sued by parents for selling suicide kits to teens (Link)

If you are having thoughts of suicide:

In the USA call 988 for 24/7, free, and confidential support.

If you are in immediate danger or you think someone is at risk of harm, contact your local emergency services.

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