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Increase in fatal suicidal poisonings and suffocations in the year Final Exit was published: a national study
Am J Psychiatry 1994;151:1813-1814.
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Abstract

Final Exit was a best-selling book that recommended poisoning and suffocation by plastic bag as lethal means of suicide for those with terminal medical illnesses. The authors sought to determine whether the number of suicides involving these methods increased in the United States in 1991, the year the book was published, compared with 1990. Suicidal asphyxiations involving a plastic bag increased 30.8%, from 334 to 437, and poisonings increased 5.4%, from 3,143 to 3,314. There was no change in the number of suicides involving each of the other methods or in the total number of suicides between 1990 and 1991. These ecological data support, but cannot conclusively prove, the hypothesis that Final Exit influenced the choice of lethal means of suicidal individuals.

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