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View Full Version : Doper docs can you really [kill yourself by biting off your own tongue?]


TheBigTripleD
02-08-2008, 06:06 PM
kill yourself by biting off your own tongue? I mean I've watched too much anime and saw in a couple of them people trying to kill themselves by biting off their own tongue. Would you really bleed to death from that?

Chief Pedant
02-08-2008, 06:08 PM
kill yourself by biting off your own tongue? I mean I've watched too much anime and saw in a couple of them people trying to kill themselves by biting off their own tongue. Would you really bleed to death from that?
No, if you had normal coagulation and were alert enough to avoid inhaling the blood. It would be messy but not lethal.

Gbro
02-08-2008, 06:28 PM
Just an EMT
Just a survivor

I had to go in for stitches because the bleeding wouldn't stop. And i tried to stop it for hours before going in, 4 stitches (hurt like hell)

Qadgop the Mercotan
02-08-2008, 07:08 PM
It would be messy but not lethal.
And painful. It would be very painful. (I bit a hole thru my tongue in a plane crash years ago. It really really hurt. A lot.)

:-P

Can you see how it's still lopsided, even now?

gotpasswords
02-08-2008, 07:41 PM
Hypothetically, if a person was doped up with a ton of aspirin and some sort of anticoagulant, would they be able to exsanguinate by biting off their tongue?

I'm sure even a bottle of aspirin won't be enough to make the pain bearable, but it and the anticoagulant should at least prevent clotting.

Blech... what a horrible way to attempt suicide.

As a minor hijack - why do tongues have so many pain receptors? About all I can hazard a guess on is so we don't swallow something sharp like rocks or sticks that would do greater harm in the gut.

Qadgop the Mercotan
02-08-2008, 07:46 PM
Hypothetically, if a person was doped up with a ton of aspirin and some sort of anticoagulant, would they be able to exsanguinate by biting off their tongue?
If the patient doesn't clot effectively, they could bleed to death, yes.
As a minor hijack - why do tongues have so many pain receptors? About all I can hazard a guess on is so we don't swallow something sharp like rocks or sticks that would do greater harm in the gut.
Just educated WAGing here, but I'd say its because the tongue is such a highly developed sense organ for most creatures.

Evolutionarily, it developed that way initially more than an organ for helping to ingest food. Using it to taste/smell objects which might be nourishing, but might be poisonous, requires a lot of nerve endings. And sensing pain is an effective way to stop an organism from eating something that causes pain.

KneadToKnow
02-08-2008, 08:34 PM
And sensing pain is an effective way to stop an organism from eating something that causes pain.
Like jagged metal Krusty-O's?

TheBigTripleD
02-08-2008, 09:15 PM
If the patient doesn't clot effectively, they could bleed to death, yes.



Would they have to take so much aspirin that that the aspirin itself would kill the person? Not that it matters, the whole thing was that they had no other way to kill themselves(no drugs, knives, or anything) so the idea was to completely bite off the end of the tongue to commit suicide. (Oddly enough the only place I've seen this was in a couple of anime shows so I am kind of curious if it was possible and if it's some sort of Japanese myth or something.)

Jragon
02-08-2008, 09:24 PM
kill yourself by biting off your own tongue? I mean I've watched too much anime and saw in a couple of them people trying to kill themselves by biting off their own tongue. Would you really bleed to death from that?

Are you sure they were trying to kill themselves? In a few anime I've seen (adn I've seen quite a few) they've done it to avoid having to answer questions (i.e. I'm not giving you many verbal answers if my tongue is gone). Granted said characters overlook their ability to write, but usually they're trying to avoid questoning rather than any attempt at suicide.

Qadgop the Mercotan
02-08-2008, 09:32 PM
Would they have to take so much aspirin that that the aspirin itself would kill the person?
Aspirin's anticoagulation effects aren't really dose-related, after a certain minimum is taken, and they're not all that potent in inhibiting clotting when compared to medications like heparin and warfarin. I'd expect that an otherwise healthy person on aspirin would not bleed out from severing their own tongue, in most cases.

While 325 mg of aspirin a day may be a bit more effective in decreasing platelet function than 81 mg a day, there's no evidence that higher doses of aspirin cause more reductions in platelet function.

TheBigTripleD
02-08-2008, 09:58 PM
Are you sure they were trying to kill themselves? In a few anime I've seen (adn I've seen quite a few) they've done it to avoid having to answer questions (i.e. I'm not giving you many verbal answers if my tongue is gone). Granted said characters overlook their ability to write, but usually they're trying to avoid questoning rather than any attempt at suicide.

Yes, I know I saw it in Vampire Hunter D (where the girl wanted to kill herself to avoid marrying a vampire and pretty much getting raped) and the other was Death Note. (Where the girl had been arrested for murder and been basically been driven half crazy by the ordeal.) The point was both cases they were trying to kill themselves without any weapons, drugs, or anything.

TheBigTripleD
02-08-2008, 09:59 PM
Aspirin's anticoagulation effects aren't really dose-related, after a certain minimum is taken, and they're not all that potent in inhibiting clotting when compared to medications like heparin and warfarin. I'd expect that an otherwise healthy person on aspirin would not bleed out from severing their own tongue, in most cases.

While 325 mg of aspirin a day may be a bit more effective in decreasing platelet function than 81 mg a day, there's no evidence that higher doses of aspirin cause more reductions in platelet function.

So would that much aspirin even be enough to bleed out from the tongue or is this turning out to be about as probable as killing someone with a blow to the nose? :)

Projammer
02-08-2008, 09:59 PM
And painful. It would be very painful. (I bit a hole thru my tongue in a plane crash years ago. It really really hurt. A lot.)


A plane crash? Wow! Did you survive?

Jragon
02-08-2008, 10:03 PM
Yes, I know I saw it in Vampire Hunter D (where the girl wanted to kill herself to avoid marrying a vampire and pretty much getting raped) and the other was Death Note. (Where the girl had been arrested for murder and been basically been driven half crazy by the ordeal.) The point was both cases they were trying to kill themselves without any weapons, drugs, or anything.
I thought Misa was just trying to silence herself, so they couldn't question her about the Death Notebook. It came off as though she was trying to kill herself "fine then, I'll bite my tounge off" is what she said when the Shinigami refused to kill her iirc, but I think she was just trying to make sure she didn't reveal any info about Light or the Death Note.
A plane crash? Wow! Did you survive?
No, he's a zombie. :p

USCDiver
02-09-2008, 02:30 AM
So would that much aspirin even be enough to bleed out from the tongue or is this turning out to be about as probable as killing someone with a blow to the nose? :)

No it would not.

Aspirin acts on platelets and will prolong your 'bleeding time', but it doesn't have an effect on the clotting cascade.

Also, anatomically there are not any large arteries in the tongue, so it would ooze blood quite a bit, but you wouldn't be able to exsanguinate.

TheBigTripleD
02-09-2008, 10:53 AM
I thought Misa was just trying to silence herself, so they couldn't question her about the Death Notebook. It came off as though she was trying to kill herself "fine then, I'll bite my tounge off" is what she said when the Shinigami refused to kill her iirc, but I think she was just trying to make sure she didn't reveal any info about Light or the Death Note.



My impression was that she really wanted to kill herself after being driven half made by L.(I mean he did have her bound, strapped to a board, and blind folded for days. Actually I also thought this kind of showed that L is almost as much of a sociopath as Light is.) So I took it as since Rem wouldn't kill her she'd kill herself.

Speaker for the Dead
02-09-2008, 11:38 AM
Yes, I know I saw it in Vampire Hunter D (where the girl wanted to kill herself to avoid marrying a vampire and pretty much getting raped) and the other was Death Note. (Where the girl had been arrested for murder and been basically been driven half crazy by the ordeal.) The point was both cases they were trying to kill themselves without any weapons, drugs, or anything.
Somebody tries it in Samurai X, but fails.

Blue Mood
02-10-2008, 02:46 AM
Maggie tried it in "Million Dollar Baby" but failed.

groman
02-10-2008, 05:31 AM
Would losing your tongue actually eliminate your ability to talk once the bleeding is stopped and the pain subsides? I just tried holding down my tongue with my fingers and saying some things. Having my fingers in my mouth certainly sounds like a much bigger impediment to intelligibility than the limited range of motion of the tongue. I mean some consonants are hampered, and it made me sound like a drunk French-Canadian, but I bet it's still understandable. If it wasn't almost 2AM and I was wearing clothes I'd go try it with a real human being. On second thought, maybe I should...

KneadToKnow
02-10-2008, 03:03 PM
Well, right off the bat you wouldn't be able to make the following sounds correctly: d, j, k, l, n, r, sh, t, y, long e, short i and any diphthongs including them (which is most English diphthongs). I think that would significantly impact one's communication, but no, it wouldn't exactly eliminate your ability to talk.

t-bonham@scc.net
02-10-2008, 04:11 PM
I vaguely recall from parochial grade school an early priest missionary who was tortured by an American Indian tribe (Iroquois, maybe?). Among other things, they either cut off his tongue or cut/burned a hole in it.

But he survived, and lived for several years after that. Eventually was declared blessed, and may now be an official saint.

All this despite this happening a couple of centuries ago, and with no t much medical treatment available to him. So it appears obvious that amputation of the tongue is not a fatal injury.

si_blakely
02-11-2008, 04:01 AM
What about swallowing your own tongue?

This was a plot point in Silence of the Lambs, when Lecter convinces another inmate to commit suicide using this method. It cropped up somewhere else, as well (maybe a Jack Reacher novel).

Is it truly possible?

Si