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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

CHAPTER VH

^DEATHS FROM ASPHYXIA

Violent deaths resulting chiefly from asphyxia are:  Hanging, Strangu-
lation^ Suffocation and Drowning.

'    HANGING

Definition.—Hanging is a form of death
producecf by suspending the body with a
ligature round the neck, the constricting
force being the weight of the body. The
term, " partial hanging ", is used for those
cases in which the bodies are partially sus-
pended or for those in which the bodies
are in a sitting, kneeling, reclining, prone,
or any other posture. In all such cases
<Jej|th is inevitable if there is enough force
upon the ligature to constrict the neck.

Nature of the Ligature used.—Any .sub-
stance that is available at the time of the
impulse has been used by suicides as a:
ligature for hanging, e.g. a cotton, hemp
or mocmj rope of any thickness, newar,
dhoti,, saree, turban (sofa), bed-sheet,,
.sacred-thread, neckerchief, neck cloth (du~
patta), etc. 3Hien a material with which
an individual is alleged to have been hang-
ed is sent for medical examination the me-
dical jurist should see if the mark on the
neck corresponds with its thickness, and
if it is strong enough to bear the weight
of the body or the sudden strain. He
should also note its texture and length,
and after labelling it with some distinc-
tive mark for future identification should
return it in a sealed packet to the police
constable who brought it.

£~3l& first symptoms are the •
loss of power 'and subjective sensations,
such as flashes of light and ringing and his-
sing noises in the ears. 5|pse are followed
"by loss of consciousnessTwEich is so very
rapid that hanging is regarded as a painless
form of death. Owing to this rapid uncon-
sciousness, an effort at saving oneself is not
possible in accidental or suicidal hanging.
In the case of judicial hanging convulsive
movements of the limbs may be seen. Res-
piration stops,before the heart which "may
continue to |>eaffor about ten minutes.

Causes of Death.-—J. A^fe^yjg>--j^irm!osii
cases this is the true cause of deat!T~T||^                             situated alwe

the thyroid cartilage, and the effect of ^pressing ffie *ie|k in that sittialifti
is to force up the epiglottis and the root of the tongue against the
wall of the pharynx.   Hence the^floor of the mouth is jammed
roof, and occludes the air passages!                                                SI^Si^i

Fig. 41.—Stiicidal Hanging.