Alvydas Benošis, Rita Aliukonienė, Alvydas Navickas, Vygintas Aliukonis


Aim is to review and evaluate the findings the pre-trial investigation of certain suicides committed in rare ways on the aspect of suicide prevention in Lithuania. Research material and methods. The material of archive data of pre-trial investigations of 5 cases of suicides committed between 2012 and 2014 were analysed from the legal, medical perspective, the perspective of suicide prevention, and statistical analysis of causes of death. Results and conclusions. During the pre-trial investigation in Lithuania, upon defining the circumstances of death, a range of proceedings is carried out for the verification of the suicide fact to verify not only the suicide fact but also the possible criminal acts that are subject to criminal liability in Article 133 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania for the following: 1) abetting a suicide or 2) procuring a suicide. Thorough data of the pre-trial investigation gathered to find the circumstances of death are important not only to verify the suicide and its causal relations, but also for the suicide prevention. It was found that the substantiation of causal relations of the data of pre-trial investigation of a committed suicide requires evaluation of psychology and psychiatry specialists that were not included in the analysed material, i.e. these specialists did not take part in the pre-trial investigation. A psychological help for the relatives of the deceased and the participants of the investigation process was not organised either. The data on the health state of the people who committed suicide were not gathered, the quality of the provision of medical services was not evaluated, even though in 3 cases the witnesses’ information on such services was provided. In 3 cases the signs of preparation for suicide were defined. However, the people who had surrounded the people who committed suicides did not take any prevention measures and did not seek for help from respective specialists. It was defined that there are more suicides committed in Lithuania than officially announced: 4 out of 5 investigated suicide cases were not involved in the wilful injury estimate of the Deaths and Their Causes Registry. It is necessary that the pre-trial institutions were recognized the providers of data on causes of intentional deaths to the Deaths and Their Causes Registry because such data received from medical certificates of death are insufficient and subjective. It was found that the organisational activities of suicide prevention in Lithuania lack inter-institutional communication, the organisation of timely psychological aid and access of service of mental health for the public are insufficient, and the organisation of activities of suicide prevention service and psychology and psychiatry specialists in the investigation of committed suicides and finding their causal relations is inadequate. In order to improve the quality of pre-trial investigation of suicides, it is necessary to prepare and implement the methodology of suicide investigation, taking into consideration the recommendations from specialists of law, forensic medicine, psychology, psychiatry, and bioethics.

Keyword(s): pre-trial investigation; forensic medicine; mental disorder; suicide; suicide prevention; incitement or aiding and abetting suicide.
DOI: 10.5200/sm-hs.2016.002
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