Published Online: 1 January 1977
Page Count: 9
Director, Laboratory, St. Francis Hospital, Wichita, Kans.
(Received 2 February 1976; accepted 9 March 1976)
The forensic practitioner is well aware of the self-destructive behavior of man through his experiences in evaluating cases in which a life has been taken through self-destructive means, but he may never encounter those cases occasionally confronting his clinical colleagues in which this self-destructive behavior is manifested against a part of the body and results in serious injury or mutilation. This abnormal behavior has been referred to by Karl Menninger  as “focal suicide” and is a manifestation of primary aggressive tendencies directed against one's self. Focal suicide is part of Menninger's general classification of self-destructive behavior of man (Table 1) and includes self-mutilations, malingering, “polysurgery” (compulsion to submit to surgical operations on many occasions), purposeful accidents, and impotence and frigidity.
Paper ID: JFS10393J