(Received 10 March 1993; accepted 7 May 1993)
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Autopsy protocols at the office of the Chief Forensic Pathologist were reviewed with respect to suicidal drowning. Within the years 1987 to 1991, 247 people have committed suicide in the Province of Newfoundland. Of that number, 22 committed suicide by drowning, representing 8.9% of all suicides, and the fourth leading cause of suicidal death.
When considering suicide in the age group of 50 years and older, (n = 68), which accounts for 27.5% of all suicides, drowning represents 25% of all suicidal deaths, and within females in this group represents the most common form of suicidal death (45.5%). The presence of alcohol or other drugs is decidedly unusual in such victims. Of the 22 drowning suicides, 19 were committed in the ocean, two were committed in fresh water and one committed in a residential well. These results contrast to similar studies performed in locations in which access to water could be reasonably considered a factor in choosing a method of suicide.
Assistant Professor of Pathology, Memorial University of Newfoundland Health Science Centre, St. John's, Newfoundland
Stock #: JFS13546J