Through a review of the Italian and international scientific literature, the Authors analyse the phenomenon of suicide by burning. By references to cases in the literature, they analyse parameters of an epidemiological statistics nature (sex and age of the victims, place and means of performing the act) as well as the motives that may be hidden behind such an event. The cultural and historical factors that influence suicide by burning are analysed, with emphasis on the psychiatric history, which currently seems to play a fundamental role in the victim's choice of means. This work is an initial approach to the study of the phenomenon of suicide by burning and is an essential preliminary to a review of the cases in the anatomical- pathological section of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the 'La Sapienza' University of Rome.
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