March
12
 

Helium suicides rising after promotion on internet

Helium inhalation promoted by internet suicide and euthanasia sites is becoming a significant factor in Australian suicides. In an article in the Journal of Forensic Sciences reviewing suicide in Australia from 1985 to 2009, researchers report that there were no deaths from helium for the first 15 years. But there were 30 between 2001 and 2005 and another 79 between 2005 and 2009. “Given the availability of helium and the recent promotion of this method of suicide, it is quite possible that this may represent a newly emerging trend in suicide deaths,” they write.

The overall rate of suicide has not changed in Australia or Sweden – it is the leading external cause of death in Australia -- but death by suffocation with helium may be preferable to hanging or other methods, as it is “relatively simple, fast, non-disfiguring, and painless”. It is also very hard to detect.

“If the plastic bag and other materials have been removed, and in the absence of an impression or ligature mark caused by fastening a plastic bag around the neck, the cause of death may be incorrectly attributed to coincidental underlying disease.” ~ Journal of Forensic Sciences, Mar 1

 



comments powered by Disqus
 

 Search BioEdge

 Subscribe to BioEdge newsletter
rss Subscribe to BioEdge RSS feed


 Recent Posts
Will the male of the species go the way of the dodo?
13 Oct 2018
Genetic privacy eroding fast with growth of ancestry databases
13 Oct 2018
Walmart wants to know your heart rate and temperature
13 Oct 2018
New journal to explore what comes after Humanity 1.0
13 Oct 2018
Academics continue to spar over conscientious objection
13 Oct 2018

Home | About Us | Contact Us | rss RSS | Archive | Bookmark and Share | michael@bioedge.org

BioEdge - New Media Foundation Ltd © 2004 - 2009 All rights reserved -- Powered by Encyclomedia