Zelfdoding is Dutch for self-killing (suicide). The film explains the history of the “discovery” of inert gas for anoxic death and the pathophysiology of this kind of dying. Prior to 1999, anoxic suicide with inert gas was virtually unknown. In 2002 I published what is believed to be the first case report of suicide with helium. Since then, many case reports have appeared in the forensic literature.
The film will appeal to persons interested in the “right to die” debate, forensic investigation, suicide prevention, and thanatology. It is my hope that it will foster discussion about self-chosen death, social control, and the ultimate question of philosophy, “To be, or not to be?”
The documentary DVD will be available in 2009. Funding for this documentary was provided by a Kwantlen Minor Research Grant.