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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List of suicides Suicide in antiquity List of suicides in the 21st century. Suicides using a suicide bag and an inert gas produce no characteristic palstic macroscopic or microscopic findings.

Helium Cessation of life. Observation of two suicides by helium inhalation in a prefilled environment.

Retrieved 3 March Archived from the original on 16 March 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. Views Read Edit View history.

Self-administered and assisted suicides by asphyxiation using a plastic bag with helium were first recorded in the s. Supplement to Final Exit: Showing of 17 references.

This causes a far quicker drop in blood oxygen level than holding the breath. 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.

Exit International US Limited. Once deprived of oxygen they will begin to die off within five minutes. 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 deoxygenated blood then passes through the systemic circulation to the vital organs, including the brain, and rapidly lowers oxygen concentrations below the level required to sustain consciousness, and when it is insufficient to keep the heart functioning, cardiac arrest will occur.


The pro- euthanasia group Exit Australia distributed a manufactured version of the bag in Australia inalarming government officials and pro-life groups. Assisted suicide Palliative care Principle of double effect Palliative sedation. 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. This page was last edited on 25 Novemberat National Institutes of Health.

Animal Child Voluntary Non-voluntary Involuntary. Selling suicide bags is prohibited in some places. By clicking accept or continuing to use the site, you agree to the terms outlined in our Privacy PolicyTerms of Serviceand Dataset License.

Werth Death studies Skip to search form Skip to main plasyic. Retrieved 27 July Suffocation caused by plastic wrap covering the face combined with nitrous oxide inhalation. The effect of contamination of the inert gas by air asphyxlal 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.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. However, we have not seen detailed descriptions of such observations that permit another person to evaluate the variables that might have produced an isolated petechia in a rare victim. A new and sensitive method for quantitative determination of helium in human blood by gas chromatography—mass spectrometry using naturally existing neon as internal standard Akira TsujitaHidehiko OkazakiAsami NagasakaAkinaga GohdaMitsushi MatsumotoToshiro Matsui Forensic Toxicology Use of a suicide bag in a well ventilated room using either of these gases is unlikely to pose a hazard for other people, and there is no fire hazard.

This suicide method is also typically used by younger or middle-aged adults, rather than by older adults. Pages containing links to subscription-only content CS1 maint: Suicides using bags or masks and gases are well documented in the literature.

Inthe FBI raided suicids small mail-order gelium in California, which shut down afterwards. 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”.


Asphyxial suicide by inhalation of helium inside a plastic bag.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 24 July The method was mainly developed in North America. 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. If the supplied breathing gas is free of carbon dioxide, the blood carbon dioxide levels will remain low while breathing asphjxial, and there will be no distress or urge to increase breathing rate, as the sensitivity in normal people to blood oxygen level as a breathing stimulus is very low.

Plastic bag asphyxia–a case report. Suicide by asphyxiation due to helium inhalation. Haglund The American journal of forensic medicine and…. Lower concentrations may cause confusion and weakness. Right to life Culture of life Euthanasia and the slippery slope.

Policy and psychosocial considerations associated with hflium assisted suicide: Suicide by helium inhalation inside a plastic bag has recently been publicized by right-to-die proponents in “how to” print and videotape materials.

Asphyxial suicide with helium and a plastic bag.

Helium Search for additional papers on this topic. Uses authors parameter Webarchive template asohyxial links. Small amounts of oxygen will not affect the end result, but may extend the time taken. The urge to breathe in normal humans is mainly controlled by blood carbon dioxide concentration and the acidity that it causes.

Asphyxial suicide by inhalation of chloroform inside a plastic bag. However, he said that he has no way of knowing if the adn was being used by people with terminal illness or by people who are mentally ill.