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Hypoxic Death & the Exit Bag Postmortem Effect of Inert Gas on the Body
The use of an inert gas with an Exit bag produces no changes in the body that can be seen or found on initial inspection. In 2007, forensic laboratory tests were developed to establish the presence of gases like helium or argon in the lungs of the deceased. It is pointless searching for nitrogen as a person’s lungs are always awash with nitrogen.
These tests were first used in 2009 to determine the cause of death of an Exit member. While such testing at autopsy is possible, it is expensive and not routine. Nevertheless, if either helium or argon is detected, the death will not be considered natural.
If nitrogen is used for a hypoxic death, and if the Exit bag and tube is removed, autopsy findings will be recorded as ‘inconclusive’. Using an Exit bag with nitrogen is the only totally undetectable method for a peaceful death, even when sophisticated testing at autopsy is carried out.