Male genital self-mutilation due to tomophobia – case report and review of literature

Medico-Legal Journal, Ahead of Print.
Self-mutilation is defined as a “deliberate destruction or alteration of body tissue without conscious suicidal intent”. The prevalence of self-mutilation is about 1%, however the voluntary cutting of the genital organs remains extremely rare with fewer than 100 cases of genital self-mutilation reported in both sexes in the English literature to date. Genital self-mutilation is most often associated with psychiatric disorders, but it has also been reported in nonpsychotic individuals owing to various reasons. Here, we present the case of a 45-year-old man who was found deceased in his home in a pool of blood with a knife and a pair of scissors lying next to him. In addition to this, parts of the intestine were found next to the body. The patient was diagnosed with hydrocoele and had a known history of tomophobia which caused him to take matters into his own hands by incising his scrotum which led to his demise. Self-orchidectomy is an extremely rare phenomenon and is most often associated with psychiatric illness.

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