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Plausibility of assisted suicide by ingestion in a case of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy


Schweitzer, Wolf; Thali, Michael J; Flach, Patricia M (2013). Plausibility of assisted suicide by ingestion in a case of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. Journal of Forensic Radiology and Imaging, 1(4):207-211.

Abstract

In the case of a 53 year old woman that had suffered from limb-girdle muscular dystrophy for 26 years, it was claimed by people present at the death scene that she had committed assisted suicide by ingesting 15. g of Natrium-Pentobarbital by herself. As she reportedly had been fed at her nursing home rather than feeding herself, a question by the investigating authorities was whether she could have plausibly lifted that glass by herself, or whether based on any findings attainable that possibility could be excluded. Post mortem computed tomography (PMCT) showed presence of reduced and dystrophic muscles in the forearms and minimal amounts of musculature in the upper arms, but not complete atrophy. Based on these findings, it is plausible from a physical viewpoint that despite a generally assumed distal progression of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, the deceased still had sizable amounts of remaining muscle in an amount that is in keeping with the assumption that she could have held a glass and ingested the lethal poison by herself. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Abstract

In the case of a 53 year old woman that had suffered from limb-girdle muscular dystrophy for 26 years, it was claimed by people present at the death scene that she had committed assisted suicide by ingesting 15. g of Natrium-Pentobarbital by herself. As she reportedly had been fed at her nursing home rather than feeding herself, a question by the investigating authorities was whether she could have plausibly lifted that glass by herself, or whether based on any findings attainable that possibility could be excluded. Post mortem computed tomography (PMCT) showed presence of reduced and dystrophic muscles in the forearms and minimal amounts of musculature in the upper arms, but not complete atrophy. Based on these findings, it is plausible from a physical viewpoint that despite a generally assumed distal progression of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, the deceased still had sizable amounts of remaining muscle in an amount that is in keeping with the assumption that she could have held a glass and ingested the lethal poison by herself. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Legal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:24 Oct 2013 08:08
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:03
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2212-4780
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jofri.2013.07.001

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