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Depending on the placement of the noose and other factors, the subject strangles or suffers a broken neck. In the event of death, the actual cause often depends on the length of the drop; that is, the distance the subject falls before the rope goes taut.


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In a "short drop", the person may die from strangulation, in which the death may result from a lack of oxygen to the brain. The person is likely to experience hypoxia , skin tingling, dizziness, vision narrowing, convulsions , shock , and acute respiratory acidosis. Hanging survivors typically have severe damage to the trachea and larynx, damage to the carotid arteries, damage to the spine, and brain damage due to cerebral anoxia.

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In a typical "long drop", the subject is likely to suffer one or more fractures of the cervical vertebrae , generally between the second and fifth, which may cause paralysis or death. In extremely long drops, the hanging may result in complete decapitation. Hanging is the prevalent means of suicide in pre-industrial societies , and is more common in rural areas than in urban areas.

Suicide by hypothermia is a slow death that goes through several stages. Hypothermia begins with mild symptoms, gradually leading to moderate and severe penalties.


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This may involve shivering , delirium , hallucinations , lack of coordination, sensations of warmth, then finally death. One's organs cease to function, though clinical brain death can be delayed. Immolation usually refers to suicide by fire. Self-immolation was also carried out as a ritual known as sati in certain parts of India , where a Hindu wife immolated herself in her dead husband's funeral pyre, either voluntarily or by coercion. The Latin root of "immolate" means "sacrifice", and is not restricted to the use of fire, though in common US media usage the term immolation refers to suicide by fire.

This method of suicide is relatively rare due to the long and painful experience one has to go through before death sets in. This is also contributed to by the ever-present risk that the fire be extinguished before death sets in, and in that way causes one to live with severe burnings , scar tissue, and the emotional impact of such injuries.

Suicide by volcano involves jumping into molten lava in an active volcanic crater , fissure vent , lava flow or lava lake. The actual cause of death may be as a result of the fall see jumping from height , contact burns, radiant heat or asphyxiation from volcanic gases. According to some ancient sources, philosopher Empedocles jumped into the Aetna trying to make everybody believe that he had disappeared from the Earth to become a god; this was frustrated when the volcano spat out one of his bronze sandals.

Modern suicides have taken place in numerous volcanoes, but the most famous is Mount Mihara in Japan. In , Kiyoko Matsumoto committed suicide by jumping into the Mihara crater. A trend of copycat suicides followed, as people jumped into the same crater over the following year. Indirect suicide is the act of setting out on an obviously fatal course without directly committing the act upon oneself. Indirect suicide is differentiated from legally defined suicide by the fact that the actor does not pull the figurative or literal trigger.

Examples of indirect suicide include a soldier enlisting in the army with the express intention and expectation of being killed in combat, or someone could be provoking an armed officer into using lethal force against them.

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The latter is generally called " suicide by cop ". In some instances the subject commits a capital crime in hope of being sentenced to death. Evidence exists for numerous examples of suicide by capital crime in colonial Australia. Convicts seeking to escape their brutal treatment would murder another individual. This was necessary due to a religious taboo against direct suicide.

A person committing suicide was believed to be destined for hell, whereas a person committing murder could absolve their sins before execution. In its most extreme form, groups of prisoners on the extremely brutal penal colony of Norfolk Island would form suicide lotteries. Prisoners would draw straws with one prisoner murdering another. The remaining participants would witness the crime, and would be sent away to Sydney as capital trials could not be held on Norfolk Island, thus earning a break from the Island.

There is uncertainty as to the extent of suicide lotteries. While surviving contemporary accounts claim that the practice was common, such claims are probably exaggerated. Some people have chosen to indirectly commit suicide by being attacked by predatory animals such as sharks and crocodiles, and in some cases the person has been eaten alive; for example, in in eastern South Africa a depressed man who wanted to be attacked by a crocodile jumped into a river and was consumed by a crocodile.

Jumping from height is the act of jumping from high altitudes, for example, from a window self-defenestration or auto-defenestration , balcony or roof of a high rise building , cliff , dam or bridge. This method, in most cases, results in severe consequences if the attempt fails, such as paralysis , organ damage, and bone fractures.

In Hong Kong , jumping is the most common method of committing suicide, accounting for There have been several documented cases of suicide by skydiving , by people who deliberately failed to open their parachute or removed it during freefall and were found to have left suicide notes.


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  4. Suicide can be committed by using fast-acting poisons , such as hydrogen cyanide , or substances which are known for their high levels of toxicity to humans. Poisoning through the means of toxic plants is usually slower and is relatively painful. When access to the chemical was restricted, other methods replaced it, leading researchers to conclude that restricting certain suicide methods does little to impact the overall suicide rate. Overdose is a method of suicide which involves taking medication in doses greater than the indicated levels, or in a combination that will interact either to cause harmful effects or increase the potency of one or other of the substances.

    An overdose is often the expressed preferred method of dignified dying among members of right-to-die societies. Reliability of the drugs method highly depends on chosen drugs and additional measures such as the use of antiemetics to prevent vomiting. Average fatality rate for overdoses in the U. While barbiturates have long been used for suicide, they are becoming increasingly difficult to acquire.

    Dutch right-to-die society WOZZ proposed several safe alternatives to barbiturates for use in euthanasia. A typical drug overdose uses random prescription and over-the-counter substances. In this case, death is highly uncertain, and an attempt may leave a person alive but with severe organ damage, although that itself may in turn eventually prove fatal.

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    Drugs taken orally may also be vomited back out before being absorbed. Considering the very high doses needed, vomiting or losing consciousness before taking enough of the active agent is often a major problem for people attempting this. Analgesic overdose attempts are among the most common, due to easy availability of over-the-counter substances. This method may leave confusion over whether the death was a suicide or accidental, especially when alcohol or other judgment-impairing substances are also involved and no suicide note was left behind.

    A particular type of poisoning involves inhalation of high levels of carbon monoxide. Death usually occurs through hypoxia. In most cases carbon monoxide CO is used because it is easily available as a product of incomplete combustion ; for example, it is released by cars and some types of heaters. A failed attempt can result in memory loss and other symptoms. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas , so its presence cannot be detected by sight or smell.

    It acts by binding preferentially to the hemoglobin in the person's blood, displacing oxygen molecules and progressively deoxygenating the blood, eventually resulting in the failure of cellular respiration , and death. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous to bystanders and people who may discover the body, so " Right to Die " advocates like Philip Nitschke recommend the use of safer alternatives like nitrogen , for example in his EXIT euthanasia device.

    In the past, before air quality regulations and catalytic converters , suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning would often be achieved by running a car's engine in a closed space such as a garage, or by redirecting a running car's exhaust back inside the cabin with a hose. The incidence of suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning through burning charcoal , such as a barbecue in a sealed room, appears to have risen.

    This has been referred to by some as "death by hibachi ". Detergent-related suicide involves mixing household chemicals to produce hydrogen sulfide or other poisonous gases. At the end of the 19th century in Britain there were more suicides from carbolic acid than from any other poison because there was no restriction on its sale. Braxton Hicks and other coroners called for its sale to be prohibited. Several creatures, such as spiders, snakes, and scorpions, carry venoms that can easily and quickly kill a person. These substances can be used to conduct suicide. For example, Cleopatra supposedly had an asp bite her when she heard of Marc Antony 's death.

    Ritual suicide is performed in a prescribed way, often as part of a religious or cultural practice. Seppuku "cut-belly", used in writing or hara-kiri "belly slitting", used when talking is a Japanese ritual method of suicide, practiced mostly in the medieval era, though some isolated cases appear in modern times. The ritual is part of bushido , the code of the samurai. As originally performed solely by an individual, it was an extremely painful method by which to die.

    Dressed ceremonially, with his sword placed in front of him and sometimes seated on special cloth, the warrior would prepare for death by writing a death poem. As the custom evolved, a selected attendant kaishakunin , his second stood by, and on the second stroke would perform daki-kubi , where the warrior is all but decapitated leaving only a slight band of flesh attaching the head to the body, so as to not let the head fall off and roll on the ground, which was considered dishonorable in feudal Japan.

    The act eventually became so highly ritualistic that the samurai would only have to reach for his sword, and his kaishakunin would execute the killing stroke. Human sacrifice was a religious activity throughout Mesoamerica. In Aztec and Maya culture, autosacrifice involving self- decapitation by priests and kings is depicted in artworks.

    Some forms of Durga worship in Indian Hinduism involve a male devotee offering himself as a sacrifice through ritual self-decapitation with a curved sword. This is designed to obtain a favor from the deity for a third party. This method involves tightening a ligature around the neck so as to compress the carotid arteries, preventing the supply of oxygen to the brain and resulting in unconsciousness and death. The technique is also associated with certain types of judo holds and restraints, and auto-erotic asphyxiation.

    This also may be done with twist ties.

    Providing Care and Comfort at the End of Life

    A hunger strike may ultimately lead to death. Starvation has been used by Hindu and Jain ascetics as a ritual method of penance known as Prayopavesa and Santhara respectively or as a method of speeding up one's own death, [] and Albigensians or Cathars also fasted after receiving the 'consolamentum' sacrament, in order to die while in a morally perfect state. The explorer Thor Heyerdahl refused to eat or take medication for the last month of his life, after he was diagnosed with cancer.

    An anorexia nervosa death caused by self-starvation is not listed on death certificates as suicide. In the UK, refusal to adhere to norms regarding food and drink consumption can lead to being detained, treated and even force fed under section 3 of the Mental Health Act The effects of force feeding have even been likened to "sexual assault" by some scholars like June Purvis Professor of Sociology at Portsmouth University ; who cites the ill treatment of women in the Suffragette movement. One argument, put forward by the historian and journalist George Dangerfield denoted the treatment as "No more than extremely unpleasant".

    The women themselves claiming the process was "frightfully indignified". American news networks recorded a case of a navy male nurse who faced a Court Martial at Guantanamo Bay for refusing to force-feed detainees on ethical grounds.

    follow link Suicide by suffocation is the act of inhibiting one's ability to breathe or limiting oxygen uptake while breathing, causing hypoxia and eventually asphyxia.