I found a Darwin award story claiming that someone was killed by pushing the leads of a Simpson 260 into his skin in ohmmeter mode. Furthermore, the story claims it is based on an unnamed US Navy Safety Publication.
What makes me skeptical about this story is that most multimeters limit current on their ohmmeter setting. I can barely feel anything by putting a generic $4 DT830 on my tongue on its lowest ohmmeter range (200 ohms) and I feel virtual nothing on its higher ranges, but I can certainly feel a bare 9V battery much more strongly that way.
So is there any secondary corroboration of this improbable death by ohmmeter/multimeter story? Also is anyone familiar enough with the Simpson 260 that would make this story more (or less) plausible? Myself looking at the schematic from the manual linked above, makes me think it even less plausible
(Click to enlarge) At one setting the voltage is only 1.5V, at the other end it is 7.5V, but with a large series resistor (>100Kohm). I've heard of exceptional cases where people have died from 12V car batteries, but not from 1.5V.
For a human body immersed in water, which greatly lowers skin resitance, the typical figure for whole body resistance is 300 ohms, so 30 V is given in that paper as the voltage needed to cause ventricular fibrilation in water. Granted, skin puncture may lower than even further, but how much further?
Another paper claims that
In the case of transverse direct current shock (e.g. from left hand to right hand), the occurrence of ventricular fibrillation is unlikely. Nevertheless, when such shock is sustained for a long time, high shock currents may lead to reversible cardiac arrhythmia, burns and loss of consciousness, which in the absence of appropriate medical aid can result in death.
Ventricular fibrillation with DC shocks usually occurs in the case of longitudinal current flow in the body. The value of the threshold shock current that causes fibrillation is two times higher for downward currents (negative potential of feet) than for upward currents. According to the IEC report , with shocks lasting more than 0.2 s, the value of the direct current liable to cause fibrillation is much higher (almost fourfold) than that of an alternating current and is equal to 150 mA–200 mA.
These don't quite jibe with dying from 1.5V DC source, hand to hand. Of course, unlikely doesn't mean it can never happen, but claims of extraordinary events require substantial evidence to be credible.