Skip to main content
68 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE
prevent mistakes in identification. Viscera and articles belonging to separate
cases should never be packed in the same box. The box should be for-
warded to the Chemical Examiner by railway parcel, and the railway receipt
together with the forwarding letter should be sent to the Chemical Examiner
under a registered cover. The forwarding letter should contain the number
date, numbers of the bottles used, and case number in which analysis of
the viscera is required by the District Magistrate. All the articles should
be packed and sealed in the presence of the Civil Surgeon, the special medico-
legal seal being used for the purpose. Along with the letter a copy of the
post-mortem report should also be forwarded.
In addition to the above-mentioned viscera the following articles are to
be preserved in certain cases of poisoning : —
(i) Urine and faeces, when available. Urine should be preserved in a
clean glass bottle with an equal quantity of rectified spirit or with fine grains
of thymol if rectified spirit is contra-indicated. Faeces should also be pre-
served separately in a clean glass bottle in rectified spirit.
(ii) The heart and a portion of the brain. These should be preserved
in separate glass bottles with rectified spirit, if poisoning by nux vomica or
strychnine is suspected.
(iii) Lung tissues and blood from the cavity of the heart. These should
be preserved separately in clean glass bottles without adding any preserva-
tive in cases of suspected poisoning by carbon monoxide, coal-gas, hydro-
cyanic acid, alcohol or chloroform, and should be forwarded for chemical
examination as soon as possible. The cerebro-spinal fluid should also be
preserved in a suspected case of poisoning by alcohol.
(iv) A portion of the skin and subcutaneous tissue in cases where poison
was suspected to have been administered by subcutaneous injection.
Portions of the long bones. These should be preserved in suspected
extensive putrefactive changes.
(vi) A quantity of hair from the head. This should be preserved in
suspected cases of subacute or chronic poisoning by minerals, as most of the
minerals are eliminated by the hair.8
(vii) The uterus and its appendages together with the upper part of
the vagina in fatal cases of suspected criminal abortion, if considered neces-
sary by the medical officer. Sticks or other foreign bodies found in the
genital tract should be preserved in a separate glass bottle after removal and
drying when practicable.
Unless the viscera and other articles are forwarded to the Chemical
Examiner they are to be preserved for a period of six months, and are then
to be destroyed after obtaining the District Magistrate's assent.9
CAUSE OF DEATH
After completing post-mortem examination, the medical officer should
form an opinion as to the cause and manner of death, based on the appear-
ances observed by him and should immediately give in the vernacular the
abstract of his opinion to the police constable accompanying the body for
communication to the investigating officer. If he has based his opinion on
the post-mortem appearances, as well as on the statement of the police, he
should mention the fact in his report. The report should be as complete as
8. Bagchi and Ganguli, Annals of Biochemistry and Experimental Medicine, Vol. I,
No. 1, March 1341.
9. For fuller details see the UP. Medical Manual, 1934, pp. 219-226.