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In cases of ligature strangulation, the importance of distinguishing self-inflicted death from homicide is crucial. This entails objective scene investigation, autopsy and anamnesis in order to elucidate the manner of death correctly. The authors report a case of unplanned complex suicide by means of self-strangulation and multiple sharp force injury. The use of more than one suicide method, consecutively - termed unplanned complex suicide - gives this case particular significance. A brief discussion on this uncommon method of suicide is presented, particularly relevant to the attending forensic physician. In addition, a short overview of the entity of complex suicide is given.

Original publication




Journal article


Medicine, Science and the Law

Publication Date





269 - 273