Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/68594
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Type: Journal article
Title: Causes of community suicides among indigenous South Australians
Author: Austin, A.
Van Den Heuvel, C.
Byard, R.
Citation: Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 2011; 18(7):299-301
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 1752-928X
1878-7487
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Amy E. Austin, Corinna van den Heuvel, Roger W. Byard
Abstract: A retrospective review of suicides occurring among Aboriginal people in the community in South Australia over a 5-year period was undertaken from January 2005 to December 2009. Twenty-eight cases were identified, consisting of 21 males (age range 16-44 years, mean 29.9 years) and 7 females (age range 23-45 years, mean 32.0 years). Deaths in all cases were caused by hanging (100%). Toxicological evaluation of blood revealed alcohol (39.3% of cases), cannabinoids (39.3%), benzodiazepines (10.7%), opiates (7.1%), antidepressants (7.1%), amphetamines (3.6%) and volatiles (3.6%). This study has demonstrated that the method of suicide overwhelmingly preferred by indigenous victims in South Australia is hanging. The precise reasons for this preference are uncertain, however, an indigenous person in South Australia presenting as a suicide where a method other than hanging has been used would be exceedingly uncommon, raising the possibility of alternative manners of death.
Keywords: Suicide; Hanging; Methods; Aboriginal; Indigenous; Australia
Rights: Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0020113091
DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2011.06.002
Appears in Collections:Pathology publications

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