Amazon Accused of Selling ‘Suicide Kits’ to Teenagers

Amazon is under fire with a new lawsuit from the families of two teenagers, 16-year-old Kristine Jonsson and 17-year-old Ethan McCarthy. Their families say Amazon’s algorithm gift-wrapped the steps to committing suicide, and the two teenagers took their own lives because of the ease of accessibility of the process.

According to the lawsuit, when users went to purchase sodium nitrate (a food preservative that can kill you in high enough doses), Amazon then recommended a scale to measure the dose, an anti-vomiting medication and Amazon’s edition of a handbook on assisted suicide.

The lawsuit reads in part, “The rare exception exists in eleven states where physicians are allowed, under exceedingly narrow, legislated medical circumstances, to carefully facilitate the death of a proven terminally ill patient. Contrary to what Amazon and Loudwolf may think, there is no exception that allows for corporate-assisted suicide.”

It adds, “These kits are comprised of Sodium Nitrate – a soluble solution that, when mixed with water and drunk, can render a person unconscious within twenty minutes. Along with Sodium Nitrate, Amazon recommends that customers also purchase a small scale to measure the right dose, Tagamet to prevent vomiting up the liquid, and the ‘Amazon edition’ of the Peaceful Pill Handbook, which contains a chapter with instructions on how to administer these ingredients together to die.”

According to the lawsuit, parents and regulators warned Amazon that Sodium Nitrate has no household use, but they continued to sell it for less than $20 and with quick delivery. According to the teens’ legal teams, the product sold is of such high utility that a single teaspoon can be fatal.

Amazon said via a spokesperson, “Sodium nitrate is a legal and widely-available product offered by retailers to preserve foods, such as meats and fish, and for use in laboratories as a reagent. Sodium nitrate is not intended for consumption, and unfortunately, like many products, it can be misused.” They did offer their “deepest condolences,” which I’m sure helps in the face of the staggering loss of these young lives.


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