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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

78

MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

(1)   Owing to prevailing ignorance the police as well as the public not
infrequently mistake the bones of animals, especially dogs, pigs and goats,
for those of human beings.    Thus,  a village   chaukidar in the  district of
Lucknow mistook a few bones of a bird lying near a tree in a field for those
of a newly born infant, suspected a case of criminal abortion and sent them
for medical examination.    In a suspected case of murder in the District of
Meerut during the month of September 1921, several bones were picked up
by the police and forwarded to me for expert opinion.   Among these -the
bones of the upper extremity were human while the remaining including
the jaw and skull were animal bones.    In another case a woman identified
the bones removed from a dry well as those of her husband alleged to have
been murdered, but on examination I found them to be those of a pig.   The
knowledge of human as well as comparative anatomy is, therefore, necessary
to find out whether the particular bones are human or not.    The answer is
quite easy when the bones are entire or when the skeleton is sent, but great
caution should be used in giving a definite opinion, when small fragments
of bones are available without any characteristic features, such as tuberosi-
ties, etc.   The precipitin^lgsL^pnducted with antihuman serum and extracts
of such fragments may be employed to find out if they are of human origin.

(2)  The sex may be determined from the distinguishing marks of the
male and female bones.   The determination is more accurate if the adult
pelvis is forthcoming.

Certain measurements of the limb-bones, especially the humerus, radius,
femur and tibia, are also useful for estimating the sex, and are given below
in a tabulated form as compiled by Khan : 

Bones
		Males
	Females

1.
	Humems
	
	


	Length Vertical diameter of head
	322    mm. 48    mm.
	290    mm. 40.5 mm.


	Bicondylar width
	60    mm.
	57.5 mm.

2.
	Radius
	
	


	Length Vertical diameter of head
	242      mm. 22.5 mm.
	201.2 mm. 21.5 Tn-m.

3.
	Femur
	
	


	Length Vertical diameter of head
	439    mm. 48    mm.
	412    mm. 41    mm.


	Bicondylar width
	79.5 mm.
	70.5 mm.

4.
	Tibia
	
	


	Length Bicondylar width
	370    mm. 75    mm.
	358    mm. 65.8 mm.

(3)  The bones sent for examination should be assorted according to the
side to which they belonged and then it should be noted if there were bones
of one kind more than necessary as required for one individual, or if there
were bones of the same kind more than necessary on the same side.

(4)  To estimate the height of an individual an inch or an inch-and-a-half
for the soft parts should be added to the length of the entire skeleton, if it
is available.   As a general rule the stature of an individual is approximately
the length measured from the tip of the middle finger to the tip of its opposite
fellow, when the arms are extended fully in a horizontal position, but this
is not always the case.   If only one arm is sent for examination, the height
can be fairly ascertained by multiplying its length by two and adding twelve
inches for the clavicles, and one-and-a-half inches representing the width of