(Received 1 April 1993; accepted 22 June 1993)
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A 26-year-old male committed suicide by inducing asphyxia using a combination of plastic bag suffocation and propane-gas inhalation. This method has been reported in the literature, but it remains unusual. Autopsy findings were consistent with a hypoxic event, and blood, brain, and lung tissue tested positive for propane by gas chromatography. Propane, while possessing some narcotic properties, causes death primarily by displacing oxygen in the atmosphere with resultant asphyxia.
Toxicologist, RCMP Forensic Laboratory, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Assistant Professor of Pathology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland
Stock #: JFS13593J