Case ReportAsphyxial Suicide by Inhalation of Helium Inside a Plastic BagSchön, Corinna Ariane MD; Ketterer, Thomas MDAuthor Information From the Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Manuscript received March 22, 2006; accepted October 2, 2006. Reprints: Corinna Ariane Schön, MD, Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Bern, Bühlstrasse 20, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland. E-mail: [email protected]. The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: December 2007 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 364-367 doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e31815b4c69 Buy Metrics Abstract 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. This article reports a case of suicidal asphyxiation by inhaling the inert gas helium inside a plastic bag. A 64-year-old man probably followed the instructions described in an article about committing suicide written by a medical practitioner from Zürich. This form of suicide is recommended by right-to-die groups and in the internet as a certain, fast, and painless suicide method. Additionally, it leaves only seldom externally visible marks or pathomorphological findings on the body. If the plastic bag and other auxiliary means are removed by another person, the forensic death investigation of cause and manner of death may be very difficult. Therefore, the death scene investigation and the inquiry ordered in the environment of the deceased are very important. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.