<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 26, Issue 3, September 2018

Rom J Leg Med26(3)246-248(2018)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

A case of railway-related suicidal death due to falling on the rails in a weird position: an alternative form of Hara-Kiri?

F. D. Giorgio, G. Vetrugno , A. Spagnolo , G. Martinotti,

Abstract: In railway suicides, the interest of forensic pathologists is often limited to mere external inspections and autopsy findings. It is our belief that a global examination of these cases ought to be de rigueur because of the heavy burden of psychological connotations that the desire of being run over by a train usually carries. The typical position of those who decide to lay themselves across the rail tracks is usually functional to achieve death by decapitation, a sudden and unpainful method of committing suicide. Our case report deals with a man who, according to testimonies, chose to expose his abdomen to the passage of an oncoming locomotive. We focus on the similarities between this uncommon method of suicide and a typical intentional evisceration, the hara-kiri.
Keywords: railway suicide, hara-kiri, abdominal injury, run over by train, forensic autopsy.

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