Suicide by hanging

Suicide via suspension from an anchor-point / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Suicide by hanging is the intentional killing of oneself (suicide) via suspension from an anchor-point such as an overhead beam or hook, by a rope or cord or by jumping from a height with a noose around the neck.

Early 20th century engraving of a woman discovering a suicide by hanging

Hanging is often considered to be a simple suicide method that does not require complicated techniques; a study of people who attempted suicide by hanging and lived usually suggests that this perception may not be accurate.[1] It is one of the most commonly used suicide methods and has a high mortality rate; Gunnell et al. gives a figure of at least 70 percent.[2] The materials required are easily available, making it a difficult method to prevent.[2] In the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, suicides by hanging are classified under the code X70: "Intentional self-harm by hanging, strangulation, and suffocation."[3][4]

Hanging is divided into suspension hanging and the much rarer drop hanging⁠ ⁠— the latter can kill in various ways. People who survive either because the cord or its anchor point of attachment breaks, or because they are discovered and cut down, can face a range of serious injuries, including cerebral anoxia (which can lead to permanent brain damage), laryngeal fracture, cervical spine fracture, tracheal fracture, pharyngeal laceration, and carotid artery injury. Ron M. Brown writes that hanging has a "fairly imperspicuous and complicated symbolic history".[5] There are commentaries on hanging in antiquity, and it has various cultural interpretations. Throughout history, numerous famous people have died due to suicide by hanging.