The Pathology of Self-Mutilation and Destructive Acts: A Forensic Study and Review

    Volume 22, Issue 1 (January 1977)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 1 January 1977

    Page Count: 9


    Eckert, WG
    Director, Laboratory, St. Francis Hospital, Wichita, Kans.

    (Received 2 February 1976; accepted 9 March 1976)

    Abstract

    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 [1] 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

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS10393J

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    Title The Pathology of Self-Mutilation and Destructive Acts: A Forensic Study and Review
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30