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Journal Article

Citation

Shields LB, Hunsaker DM, Hunsaker JC. J. Forensic Sci. 2007; 52(4): 930-937.

Affiliation

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Louisville, KY, and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40204, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2007, American Society for Testing and Materials, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

10.1111/j.1556-4029.2007.00485.x

PMID

17553080

Abstract

The risk of suicide is significantly increased in schizophrenics; it is estimated that 10-13% of individuals suffering from schizophrenia commit suicide. Schizophrenia is marked by psychotic exacerbations and remissions, with persistent deterioration in baseline functioning with each relapse. We present a 10-year (1993-2002) retrospective review of Medical Examiners' cases of suicide of schizophrenic victims. Twenty-nine cases were between the ages of 20 and 75 (mean age of 41.6 years). The majority of victims were male (62.1%) and Caucasian (86.2%). The leading method of suicide for both males and females was firearm injury (48.3%) mostly of the head, followed by overdose (20.7%), and hanging (13.8%). A comprehensive investigation of the biopsychosocial factors is warranted in cases of schizophrenics who commit suicide. This study offers an insightful analysis pertaining to the determination of intent in formulating the manner of death in this unique population.


Language: en

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