A suicide bag, also known as an exit bag or hood, is a euthanasia device consisting of a large plastic bag with a drawcord used to commit suicide through inert gas asphyxiation. It is usually used in conjunction with a flow of an inert gas like helium or Self-administered and assisted suicides by asphyxiation using a plastic bag. Asphyxial suicide by placing a plastic bag over the head, especially in combination with inhalation of gases, is a rarely described method of committing suicide. Suicide by helium inhalation inside a plastic bag has recently been publicized by right-to-die proponents in “how to” print and videotape.

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The Peaceful Pill Handbook. Asphyxiation Hanging Train Cop Seppuku. These additives may be toxic in large doses, but the concentrations which are needed to indicate the presence of the gas are not dangerous over short terms. Suicide tourism Groningen Protocol Aslhyxial device. Observation of two suicides by helium inhalation in a prefilled environment.

Suicide bag

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Helium and nitrogen are non toxic and can be breathed with no ill effects over short or long term when oxygen levels are sufficient, and present no health risk to third parties except asphyxiation. Suffocation using plastic bags: Pages containing links to subscription-only content CS1 maint: Canadian right-to-die advocates stopped shipping suicide bags to Australia inwhen the Australian government announced that it would review their importation.

Asphyxial suicide with helium and a plastic bag.

The method was mainly developed in North America. Ogden Death studies Journal of Affective Disorders. Asphyxial suicide with helium and a plastic bag.

A suicide bagalso known as an exit bag or hood[1] [2] is a euthanasia device consisting of a large plastic bag with a drawcord used to commit suicide through inert gas asphyxiation.

Supplement to Final Exit: Suicides using bags or masks and gases are well documented in the literature. Andres Rodriguez Zorro Journal of forensic and legal medicine Retrieved from ” https: Selling suicide bags is prohibited in some places. Asphyxial suicide by inhalation of chloroform inside a plastic bag. Russel Ogden said that the existence of “how-to” literature involving the suicide bag has been “shown to influence the choice of suicide method but not the overall suicide rate, and that an emerging counterculture of death providers, operating outside of the traditional medicolegal framework of health care, was placing assisted death outside the normative gaze of medicine”.


This article reports a suicide performed according to this new and highly lethal technique, which is also a potentially undetectable cause of death. Part of a series on. Archived from the original on 16 March Hamilton and Hardy’s Industrial Toxicology 6, reprint ed.

The authors stated that a hood method might be able to play a role in “demedicalising assisted suicide”.

We are aware that some observers may have seen an occasional petechia in rare instances of plastic bag suicide. NuTech and non-physician assisted suicide: Asphyxial suicides using plastic bags.

The authors wrote, [42].

The danger lies in that they are undetectable by human senses, and the first warning of their presence in asphyxiant concentrations may be loss of consciousness. The effect of contamination of the inert gas by air or other source of oxygen is to reduce the effects of oxygen loss and the person exposed may feel weak, tired and confused, but without a strong urge to breathe or the associated respiratory distress. Since the s, guides have spread on the internet, in print and on video and the frequency of suicides by this method has increased.

List of suicides Suicide in antiquity List of suicides in the 21st century. Toxicology information could not determine helium inhalation, and drug screening did not reveal data of significance. Srp Arh Celok Lek. This effect will remain if the person is free to breathe but the available air has a high carbon dioxide content. Werth Death studies Unless the bag is fastened around the neck by a ligature with sufficient tension to obstruct venous return from the face, in our experience, such persons never have facial or conjunctival petechiae.


Skip to search form Skip to main content. Archived from the original on Clinical psychologist Phillip Kleespies said that Ogden’s work calls attention to some of the risks associated with covert assisted suicide using unregulated methods like the suicide bag with inert gas.

Examples of other gases used are propane – butane[37] which has narcotic effects, [38] and is commonly adulterated with strong smelling additives to warn of gas leaks, and natural gas.

Assessment of risk Crisis hotline list Intervention Prevention Suicide watch. Topics Discussed in This Paper. Retrieved 24 July By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Suicide by helium inhalation inside a plastic bag has recently been publicized by right-to-die proponents in “how to” print and videotape materials. A rise in carbon dioxide concentration caused by the inability to inhale fresh gas will cause a strong reflex to breathe, accompanied by increasing distress as the level rises, culminating in panic and desperate struggle for air.

It is heavier than air and may accumulate in low places, particularly if they are poorly ventilated. References Publications referenced by this paper. Free full text Archived September 27,at the Wayback Machine. The unpleasant smell may be a deterrent to more widespread use as a euthanasia agent, but the primary purpose is a warning of fire hazard.

The suicide bag with inert gas method was originally developed by John Hofsess and the NuTech group, which consisted of Hofsess, Derek Humphryengineers and physicians.