Autoerotic Fatalities

This course has truly revealed my naiveté even though I have considered myself a seasoned emergency department nurse. I was astounded to learn that people indulge in sexual preferences that are of such risk-taking that might lead to their death by asphyxiation, chains, infibulations, or other masochistic behavior. Unfortunately, they can very easily be misconstrued as a suicide attempt. In reading this chapter, I can very well understand how a lonely individual with misguided thinking could indulge in fantasies that could lead to dangerous paths leading to sexual arousal. Unfortunately, when their risk-taking fails due to the lack or inaccessibility of a self-rescue mechanism, all bets are off. One could also wonder if disapproving significant others contribute to the demise – in this case leading to a homicide. I have personally witnessed many “huffers,” cutters, and those who have used bondage and plastic bags for induced suffocation to obtain a high. Fortunately, for the most part, they have been “found” in time, although we did have one girl who I believe was truly suicidal who came in with a note pinned to her nightie that read “this time I did it right.” Autoeroticism is one area I hope I do not bear witness to very often, however. This must be a devastating way to die. References Lynch, Virginia A. and Duval, Janet Barber. (2006). Forensic Nursing. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby

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