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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

162

MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE.

On or about the 9th November 1926, Mt. Masuman reported to the Sub-Divisional
Magistrate of Mohanlalgan], District Lucknow, that her husband had attempted to
murder her by strangulation. On examination I found bruise-like marks on both sides
of the front of the neck. The skin round about these marks was inflamed and covered
with, tiny blisters. She had similar marks on the palms and tips of the fingers. On further
examination these were found to have been caused by the application of the juice of
a marking nut (see Fig. 54).

Accidental strangulation is rare, but it may occur when an article of
clothing, a neck band or a cord is tightly drawn round the neck all of a
sudden. This may occur in an epileptic or an intoxicated person who may
be helpless in extricating himself from such tight encirclement of the neck.
It may also occur when a string used in suspending a weight on the back
should slip from across the forehead and compress the neck. This is easy
to conjecture, if the body has not been disturbed after death. Children
may also be accidentally strangled by a window blind cord or string encir-
cling the neck too tightly during play.

Differences between Hanging and Strangulation.—The differences be-
tween hanging and strangulation are given below in a tabulated form: —

Hanging

Strangulation

1.  Mostly suicidal.

2.   Ligature   mark,   oblique,   non-conti-
nuous,  placed  high  up  in the  neck
between the chin and the larynx, the
base of the groove or furrow being
hard, yellow and parchment-like.

3.  Abrasions    and    ecchymoses    round
about the edges of the ligature mark,
rare.

4.   Subcutaneous tissues under the markj
white, hard, and glistening.

5.  Injury to  the muscles of the neck,
rare.

6.   Carotid  arteries,  internal  coats  rup-
tured in violent cases of a long drop.

7.  Fracture  of the larynx  and trachea,
very  rare   and  that  too  in  judicial
hanging.

8.  Fracture-dislocation   of   the   cervical
vertebras, common in judicial hang-
ing.

9.   Scratches,   abrasions   and  bruises   on
"the face, neck and other parts of the
body, usually not present.

10.  Face, usually pale and no petechise.

11.  Neck,   stretched   and   elongated   in
fresh bodies.

12.  External  signs  of  asphyxia,   usually
not well marked.

13.  Bleeding from the nose, mouth and
ears, very rare.

14.  Saliva,   running   out   of   the   mouth
down on the chin and chest.

,15. Emphysematous patches on the sur-
face of the lungs, not present.

1.  Mostly homicidal.

2.   Ligature   mark,   horizontal  or  trans-
verse,   continuous,   low  down in the
neck below the thyroid, the base of
the groove or furrow being soft and
reddish.

3.  Abrasions    and    ecchymoses    round
about the edges of the ligature mark,
common.

4.  Subcutaneous tissues under the mark,
ecchymosed.

5.   Injury to  the  muscles  of the neck,
common.

6.   Carotid  arteries, internal coats ordi-
narily ruptured.

7.  Fracture  of the larynx and trachea,
often found.

8.  Fracture-dislocation   of   the   cervical
vertebrse, rare.

9.   Scratches,  abrasions  and  bruises on
the face, neck and other parts of the
body, usually present.

10.  Face,   congested,   livid   and   marked
with petechiae.

11.  Neck, not so.

12.  External signs of asphyxia, very well
marked.

13.  Bleeding from the nose, mouth and
ears, may be found.

14.  Saliva, no such riinning.

15.  Emphysematous patches on the sur-
face of the lungs, may be present.

ILLUSTRATIVE CASES

Suicide.—1., A Hindu lunatic in a jail strangled himself by passing two or three
coils of stout thread around his neck, attaching the ends securely to his wrists and then
extending his arms to the utmost limit. This occurred during ten minutes when his
attendant was absent.—Surgeon-General Francis, Med, Times and Gaz., Dec. 2, 1876,
p, 634.