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Journal Article


Fieguth A, Grimm U, Kleemann WJ, Tröger HD. Arch. Kriminol. 1997; 199(1-2): 13-20.

Vernacular Title

Suizidmethoden im Sektionsgut des Instituts fur Rechtsmedizin der Medizinischen


Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Medizinischen Hochschule Hannover.


(Copyright © 1997, Verlag Schmidt-Romhild)






Between 1978 and 1987 513 cases of suicide were examined at the Institute of Legal Medicine of the Medical School of Hannover (337 males (65.7%) and 176 females (34.3%). The greatest share of the suicides was found in the age group 18 to 30. 42.1% of the cases showed positive alcohol concentrations with men accounting for a relatively higher share. The most frequently used methods for committing suicide were intoxications (28.1%), hanging (25.3%), firearms (17.2%), falling from great height (9.7%) and drowning (7.6%). The incidence in terms of sex showed marked differences in distribution, however. Women mostly used the following methods for committing suicide: Intoxication (37.4%), falling (17.6%) and hanging (17%). With men we found the following order: Hanging (29.7%), firearms (24.3%) and intoxications (23.1%). Compared with other institutes of legal medicine the five most frequent suicide methods showed similar distributions, but with a higher rate of intoxications. On the other hand there were distinct differences as to the relative frequency of the individual suicide methods in the total population and the respective number of autopsies performed. Especially in cases of gunshot wounds the number of autopsies performed to rule out homicide was higher. Of 2390 case of suicide registered in Greater Hannover an autopsy was ordered by the court in only 6.7%. According to our experience the autopsy rate seems too low, because homicide in the form of pretended suicide is not too rare.

Language: de


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