LIFE | Preservative sales on the Internet caused a wave of silent deaths

The researcher is competing for the Human Rights Prize of the Assembly of the Republic.

Chemicals used as fertilizers and food preservatives, without odor or color and with a crystalline appearance similar to salt, which are freely available to the public, are responsible for the epidemic of silent suicide around the world and in Portugal. It has been sold on the Internet in the form of “suicide kits” and is delivered to buyers’ homes on demand and without regulation, reports research by two lawyer, Ricardo Dinis-Oliveira, professor and president of the Portuguese Science Association Forensics, and Carlos Durão, orthopedist at Vila Franca de Xira Hospital and doctor at the Institute Legal Review.
Carlos Durão is 44 years old, born in Rio de Janeiro and is the son of Portuguese parents from Fafe. He arrived in Portugal to work at the Vila Franca de Xira Hospital, still in the former Reynaldo dos Santos, and was the first doctor to open a Public-Private Partnership in that hospital. He is passionate about forensic issues and has always devoted his life to the study of death.
Five years ago, in a decision, the researchers found an object that caused an alarm. A 37-year-old man was found dead in a car with a box next to him that contained food products that, when taken in large doses, caused death due to its resistance block tissue oxygenation and cause death by asphyxiation. The discovery of sales on the Internet, independent and unregulated, surprised Carlos Durão.
“We can identify the sale of these drugs from suicide products sold with other drugs so that the person does not vomit and sleep better, for example. Posted on the Internet. It’s scary “, he warned. When the investigators began to search for things in order, they realized that they were facing a silent epidemic of suicide. “It’s like playing a naval game fight and hit the cargo plane. I immediately realized that we are facing a phenomenon that has not yet been identified in Portugal but is large and not limited to our region,” he warned. Since then, at least eight cases recorded in Portugal with victims, all men, between 17 and 59 years old, but there could be more as many decisions have not yet been found for that drug. Carlos Durão not wants to tell specifically how many people he has already identified in that region so as not to cause alarm in society “but my face is alarmed”, he confessed.

“The difference between poison and medicine is in its dose”
From an article published in a scientific journal, the world community took note of the phenomenon and at least a hundred people have now been identified throughout world and the numbers are growing. In conclusion, remember, it is not possible to check all the chemicals. “What we are seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. How many deaths occur and are not investigated? Those who do not know what they are looking for do not mean what they think. If we don’t understand enough to search for these things we won’t find it. Some cases that are defined as natural death may not be so. And this happens all over the world”, warned the expert.
Carlos Durão’s goal is to keep this collection from being sold off the shelves. “Or at least able to control something. We must increase the awareness of doctors to identify the use of these drugs and then block or reduce these sales and look at diagnosis in other ways,” he said. The This drug is well known to doctors, as it is used to treat severe cyanide poisoning. Carlos Durão said “The difference between poison and medicine is in its dose”, Carlos Durão. The study research by two pairs of researchers have worked on this year’s Human Rights Prize sponsored by the Council of the Republic along with nine other studies.

Talk about suicide without limits

For Carlos Durão, psychology today needs a lot of attention. “It is a public health issue. Suicide can be a permanent solution for a while. Not only the victim, but the whole family and friends suffer. They died together. We must put our finger on the wound. You can’t fight what you don’t know. It is important to know what is happening, to be aware and to develop strategies that can fight it”, he said.
The doctor has no doubt that there is a ban on suicide in the country and that when this happens, the problem is hidden. “It’s like there are spiders in the room. Scary, but worse than seeing a spider is not seeing it at all. We can only fight the problem if we know how to do it. People who work with mental health, parents and teachers, need to know how to change behavior to prevent suicide,” he said.

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