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Suicide with plastic bag only.

My question was not merely "Is it possible to commit suicide with a
plastic bag?"  To rephrase,

    Is it possible to commit suicide with a plastic bag *alone*, i.e.
        a) without drugs, AND
        b) without rubber bands, rope, etc. to passively seal the bag

It is very hard to believe that an individual could hold a bag around
her neck until death, given
        – the panic that would occur as the CO2 concentration  
          increased inside the bag, even if the will to die was great
        – that unconsiousness would occur long before death (5 minutes

          vs. 30 minutes), causing the grip on the bag to relax and
          the seal around the neck to be lost

It seems to me that it is no more possible to kill yourself by
voluntarily holding a plastic bag around your neck than it is to drown
yourself by voluntarily sticking your head in a bucket of water.
After all, isn’t that why people go to extreme measures to *lose*
control of the air supply, for example by hanging, or taking sleeping
pills followed by a rubber band to passively seal the bag?

I have little doubt that prisoners, and others, have committed suicide
using plastic bags.  Recently, of course, we have the example of the
Heaven’s Gate group.  However, I contacted Derek Humphry, author of
"Final Exit" (which describes the plastic bag method), and he told me
that he has never heard of anyone taking their life without a rubber
band or other device to seal the bag.

Michael

On 18 Aug 1997 21:57:30 GMT, jesus6…@aol.com (Jesus6662) wrote:

- — -

>Im Artikel <33fcaebc.105164…@netnews.worldnet.att.net>, n…@null.null
>schreibt:

>>A very dear friend of mine died last September under very suspicious
>>circumstances.  According to her husband, he found her lying on her
>>back with a black plastic garbage bag over her head.  He claims that
>>she held the bag shut with her left hand *only*.  No rubber bands or
>>other passive devices were used to fasten the bag around her neck.
>>Furthermore, the autopsy indicated that she had not drugged herself in
>>preparation for suicide via plastic bag.

>>Is this possible?  Can an individual simply put on a plastic bag and
>>hold it throughout unconsciousness until death occurs, without use of
>>drugs to mediate the panic that would occur?

>>We need a definitive, authoritative answer.  If you can provide it, or
>>know someone who can, please reply.

>>Michael

>To get an authoritative answer contact your local prison doctor.

>This method is often used in prisons.

>Jesus

.
posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

One Response to “Suicide with plastic bag only.”

  1. admin says:

    On 21 Aug 1997 20:23:32 -0400, oli…@cs.unc.edu (Bill Oliver) wrote:

    >In article <33fcaebc.105164…@netnews.worldnet.att.net>,
    > <n…@null.null> wrote:

    >>Is this possible?  Can an individual simply put on a plastic bag and
    >>hold it throughout unconsciousness until death occurs, without use of
    >>drugs to mediate the panic that would occur?

    >It’s possible.  Whether or not it’s likely in a specific case would
    >depend upon the investigation by the police and the ME.

    >billo

    Can you cite an example or point me to a reference where I might find
    an example of a suicide involving a plastic bag, where
        a) no drugs were used, and
        b) the individual held the bag around his neck with only his hand

    Thanks,
    Michael