Suicide by Inhalation of Carbon Monoxide in a Residential Fire

    Volume 50, Issue 4 (July 2005)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 25 May 2005

    Page Count: 2


    Sauvageau, A
    Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de meédecine leégale, Edifice Wilfrid- Derome, Montreal, Quebec

    Yesovitch, R
    Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de meédecine leégale, Edifice Wilfrid- Derome, Montreal, Quebec

    Racette, S
    Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de meédecine leégale, Edifice Wilfrid- Derome, Montreal, Quebec

    (Received 30 November 2004; accepted 27 February 2005)

    Abstract

    Fire deaths are usually accidental, but atypical cases of homicide or suicide have been described. In suicide by fire, the only method reported by several authors consists of self-immolation. We present here the unusual case of an adult female who committed suicide by waiting in the living room after setting fire to her bedroom. The autopsy revealed smoke inhalation and the toxicological analysis revealed carboxyhemoglobin levels of 67%. Very few cases of suicide by fire not of the self-immolation type have been reported, and all have been anecdotal. A review of the literature is presented and a new term, “suicide by inhalation of carbon monoxide in a fire,” is proposed for such cases.


    Paper ID: JFS2004504

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS2004504

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    Author
    Title Suicide by Inhalation of Carbon Monoxide in a Residential Fire
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30