Anesthetized by chloroform before hanging
We present a unique case of suicidal hanging. The deceased was a 31-year-old male who was found hanging from a tree in a dense thicket, with his lower limbs in contact with the ground (partial suspension). There was an apparatus similar to a facial mask placed around his nose and mouth. A strong chemical smell was emanating from the apparatus, which was identified as chloroform (Formyl trichloride/CHCl3). A ligature with a soft cloth beneath it was around his neck. A ligature mark was present around the neck. The decedent’s blood alcohol levels were 112 mg/dl. The blood and stomach contents were negative for chloroform. A complete death investigation, including scene investigation and complete autopsy examination, confirmed the cause of death as hanging. The manner of death was suicide. This case highlights how the deceased had used several methods whilst committing suicide to minimize pain, including the inhalation of chloroform, which would have also resulted in the inability to engage in protective actions during the act.
KeywordsSuicidal hanging Partial hanging Anesthethesia Chloroform Formyl trichloride/CHCl3
We gratefully acknowledge Ms. Nirmani Thilakarathna for computer assistance.
Compliance with ethical standards
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
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