Document Detail

Asphyxial suicide with helium and a plastic bag.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12198347     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Suicide by helium inhalation inside a plastic bag has recently been publicized by right-to-die proponents in "how to" print and videotape materials. This article reports a suicide performed according to this new and highly lethal technique, which is also a potentially undetectable cause of death. Toxicology information could not determine helium inhalation, and drug screening did not reveal data of significance. The cause of death could be determined only by the physical evidence at the scene of death. Helium inhalation can easily be concealed when interested parties remove or alter evidence. To ensure that their deaths are not documented as suicide, some individuals considering assisted suicide may choose helium methods and assistance from helpers. Recent challenges to Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law may increase interest in helium instead of barbiturates for assisted suicide.
Russel D Ogden; Rae H Wooten
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of forensic medicine and pathology     Volume:  23     ISSN:  0195-7910     ISO Abbreviation:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Publication Date:  2002 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-08-28     Completed Date:  2002-11-13     Revised Date:  2011-02-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8108948     Medline TA:  Am J Forensic Med Pathol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  234-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Criminology, Kwantlen University College, New Westminister, British Columbia, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Administration, Inhalation
Asphyxia / etiology*
Cause of Death
Helium* / administration & dosage
Middle Aged
Right to Die
United States
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Plastics; 7440-59-7/Helium

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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