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66 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE
abnormally enlarged prostate. In the case of a female body, keep the mouth
of an ordinary glass bottle close to the urethra, and press the bladder. Urine
will pour out in the bottle, if there is any in the bladder.
Uterus.—In female bodies the uterus should always be examined for its
size and shape. The normal size of the organ is 3" X 2" X 1", and weight
from one to one-and-a-half ounces ; but the size and weight vary consider-
ably during pregnancy or when there is any tumour. The condition of its
mucous membrane and the thickening of its wall should be examined after
the uterus is opened longitudinally. During menstruation the mucous
membrane is thickened, softer and of a darker colour, and covered with
blood and detritus. In old age it becomes atrophied, and paler and denser
in texture. If the uterus contains a foetus, the age of its intra-uterine life
should be noted. The ovaries and Fallopian tubes should also be examined.
The ovaries should be chiefly examined for corpora lutea. The vaginal canal
should be opened and examined for the presence of a foreign body or marks
of injury. The colour of its mucous membrane and the condition of the
hymen should also be noted.
Spine and Spinal Cord.—The spinal canal need not be examined unless
there is any indication of disease or injury. If necessary, the body should be
turned over on the face with a block beneath the thorax and an incision
made along the entire length of the vertebral column extending from the
occiput to the lower end of the sacrum. After reflecting the integuments,
dissecting away the muscles and noting extravasation of blood in the soft
tissues, the laminae should be sawn through vertically on each side and the
detached portions removed, when the dura mater would be exposed. After
noting its appearance, the dura mater should be opened and an examination
made for the presence of haemorrhage, inflarnmation, suppuration or tumour.
The cord should now be removed, laid on the table, cut transversely in
several places, and examined for evidences of hemorrhages, softening and
The vertebral column should be examined for the presence of fractures
or dislocations after the cord has been removed.
As soon as the post-mortem examination is finished, the body should be
thoroughly washed, the organs should be replaced into the cavities, and the
dissected flaps should be brought in apposition and well sutured with strong
twine. The body should then be covered with a cloth before it is returned
to the relatives or friends so as to avoid hurting their feelings. In the
absence of the relatives or friends the body should be returned to the police
constable accompanying it, who should cremate or bury it according to the
religious customs of the deceased, but should never throw it into a running
stream or river as is often done.
PRESERVATION OF VISCERA AND OTHER ARTICLES IN CASES
OF SUSPECTED POISONING AND RULES FOR TRANSMITTING
THEM TO THE CHEMICAL EXAMINER
In fatal cases of suspected poisoning the following viscera should ordi-
narily be preserved for chemical analysis in clean, wide-mouthed, white glass
bottles, fitted with glass stoppers, which are issued to the Civil Surgeons
from the Chemical Examiner's office, are of about one litre capacity and have
serial numbers etched into the glass both of the bottles and of the
1. The stomach and its contents—any suspicious substance found
inside the stomach should be preserved in a separate phial.
2. A portion of the liver, not less than 16 ounces in weight, or the whole
liver, if it weighs less than 16 ounces.