Objectives: Suicide is a major public health problem and challenging issue of forensic medicine, in our country as in all over the world. This study aimed to present medico-legal evaluation of group/mass suicide cases of siblings.
Material and methods: A total of 535 cases, autopsied in Kahramanmaraş between 01.01.2007 and 01.06.2012, were retrospectively investigated. There were two cases of group suicide of four siblings for each. The autopsy and forensic investigation records of these cases were investigated.
Results: There were two cases of group/mass suicide. Each of them comprised four siblings. In first case, the group comprised of 3 male and 1 female siblings. Scene investigation did not reveal a suspicious finding. Interviewing with the relatives showed that siblings were extremely dependent on their mother who was currently died, after which victims suffered social adjustment problems. Autopsy findings revealed that all victims died of asphyxia due to hanging. In second case, four female siblings found dead in a damn lake, a short while after leaving home. All found to wear similar black colored dresses. Interviewing family members revealed that the oldest sister was forced for an unwanted marriage. The family has a low socioeconomic level and migrated from another region. Death was attributed to asphyxia due to drowning.
Conclusions: In the etiology of suicide, psychological and environmental factors should be investigated. Implementing psychosocial support mechanisms is of high importance in order to avoid such consequences, particularly for broken families and in regions suffering from unwanted forced marriages.