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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

STRANGULATION

159

Fig. 51.—Throttling:  Effusion of blood

in the epiglottis, larynx and soft

tissues.

1. Whether Death was caused by Strangulation,—No inference should
be drawn simply from a ligature mark, for it may be indistinct or absent,

if a soft ligature like silk is used, and
may be produced by the application
of a ligature to the neck even after
death. A similar mark may be pro-
duced by a collar or neck band xvorn
loosely round the neck when it com-
presses the tissues which are swollen
and distended by putrefaction.

The natural folds of the skin especi-
ally of a stout person rarely produce
marks on the neck which may look
like those found after strangulation.

Abrasions and finger marks may
be produced on the neck by a person
gasping for air in an intoxicated
condition or in an epileptic or hyste-
rical fit.

*Jp***eome   to   the   conclusion   that
death was due to strangulation It is
necessary,   therefore,    to    note   the
effects of violence in the underlying
tissues  in   addition   to   the   ligature
mark or bruise marks caused by the
fingers   or   by   the   foot,
knee,    etc.,    and    other
appearances of death from
asphyxia.   At   the   same
time    the   possibility   of
other    causes    of    death
should be excluded.

2. Whether the Stem-
gulatibiT" was Suicidal,
Homicidal or Accidental.

—Suicidal strangulation
is not very common,
though sometimes met
with. Jfo,, thfisg cases some
contrivance is always
made to keep the ligature
tight after insensibility
, supervenes. IJiis is done
by twisting a cord several
times round the neck and
then tying a knot, which
is usually single and in
front or at the side or
back of the neck, by
twisting a cord tightly by
means of a stick, stone or
some ,other solid roate-
rial, or by tightening the

Fig.   52.—Natural   folds   of   the   skin   simulating

ligature marks on the neck.   (From a photograph

lent kindly by Dr. H. S.