Apparent Partial Hanging

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Abstract

A careful analysis of circumstances and investigations of death scene are required before commenting on the manner of death in a case of hanging. Hanging may result from either complete or incomplete suspension of the body. Two cases of hanging are reported where discrimination in eyewitness's account and death scene investigation report was evident regarding type of hanging (complete/partial). The use of term apparent partial hanging is proposed in such cases. Body position in hanging is one of the numerous factors that determine the strength of the neck compression by the ligature and thus should be considered in the evaluation of dying process and pathomorphologic feature of hanging. The cases also put a probable explanation to the higher incidence of partial hangings in different studies. We believe that incidence of true partial hangings may be much lower than that reported in the literature.

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