The Corner

Way Out

Just read this rather depressing report about a big raise in middle-aged suicides. One thing struck me, though: the report contains two accounts of people taking their lives by inhaling carbon monoxide fumes from an automobile engine. Yet I am sure I remember, when writing an article on suicide for NRO, that somewhere in my reserach – and now, of course, I can’t find the reference – that catalytic converters in cars from the past decade or so scrub out the CO from car exhausts, making this method of suicide no longer practical. I suppose the two suicides cited in the NYT report might have been using much older cars, but I’d like to get a ruling on this. Does the car-exhaust thing still work with late-model cars? Not that I’m contemplating … Come on, I’m just curious.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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