Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 381–385 | Cite as

Anesthetized by chloroform before hanging

  • Amal Nishantha VadysingheEmail author
  • Murugaphillai Sivasubramanium
Case Report


We present a unique case of suicidal hanging. The deceased was a 31-year-old male who was found hanging from a tree in a dense thicket, with his lower limbs in contact with the ground (partial suspension). There was an apparatus similar to a facial mask placed around his nose and mouth. A strong chemical smell was emanating from the apparatus, which was identified as chloroform (Formyl trichloride/CHCl3). A ligature with a soft cloth beneath it was around his neck. A ligature mark was present around the neck. The decedent’s blood alcohol levels were 112 mg/dl. The blood and stomach contents were negative for chloroform. A complete death investigation, including scene investigation and complete autopsy examination, confirmed the cause of death as hanging. The manner of death was suicide. This case highlights how the deceased had used several methods whilst committing suicide to minimize pain, including the inhalation of chloroform, which would have also resulted in the inability to engage in protective actions during the act.


Suicidal hanging Partial hanging Anesthethesia Chloroform Formyl trichloride/CHCl3 



We gratefully acknowledge Ms. Nirmani Thilakarathna for computer assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Disclosure statement

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amal Nishantha Vadysinghe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Murugaphillai Sivasubramanium
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka
  2. 2.JMO’s OfficeTeaching Hospital, KandyKandySri Lanka

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