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Atypical suicides or the first undiagnosed autoerotic deaths in Europe?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24237809     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Autoerotic accidental deaths (AAD) are increasingly reported deaths occurring during solitary sexual rituals used to enhance sexual excitement. The majority of these fatalities involve hanging or other form of self-inflicted asphyxia. The German medical literature, with the first recognized AAD published in the early 1900s, has antedated by decades the first significant AAD reports (1950-1953) in English. Early contributions in languages other than English and German are mostly overlooked in current AAD reviews, although AAD were recognised in some European countries as early as the 1940s and 1950s. For a variety of reasons, it is likely that, before the description of the first AAD in the medical literature, some asphyxia deaths have been classified as suicides with peculiar features, instead of as accidents resulting from life-threatening sexual practices. In the present study, we review and comment on three such atypical asphyxia deaths investigated in central Europe (Austria, Italy, Switzerland) during the period 1821 to 1927. The retrospective analysis of these cases revealed some circumstantial and individual features which nowadays could be linked to AAD, and disclosed the reluctance of medical examiners to analyse their motivational, and possibly sexual, background. The medico-legal approach to some autopsy findings of these cases also illustrates some controversial diagnostic issues regarding mechanical asphyxia, issues recurrently debated during the 19th century.
Authors:
Philippe Lunetta
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2013-10-04
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of forensic and legal medicine     Volume:  20     ISSN:  1878-7487     ISO Abbreviation:  J Forensic Leg Med     Publication Date:  2013 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-11-18     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101300022     Medline TA:  J Forensic Leg Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1010-3     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.
Affiliation:
Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 40, Kytösuontie 11, 00300 Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address: philippe.lunetta@helsinki.fi.
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