176 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE
water in the stomach, as the bodies taken out of water are brought t
Sadar mortuary in a more or less decomposed condition. In my exneri
at Agra and Lucknow I have found water in the stomach in about 30
cent of cases of drowning.
The^sinall intestine, especially the duodenum and jejunum and
the ileum, contains water mixed with mud, sand, etc. This. sign is rea
as positive evidence of death by drowning, as the passage of water iiit
Intestine is only due to the peristaltic movement, which is a vital act °
water is not always present in the intestine. I have found it in about 20
cent of cases.
The liver is usually gorged with dark fluid blood, which pours out fr
the cut surfaces on an incision being made into its substance. The l*
and kidneys are dark in colour and deeply congested.
W^ter may be found in the middle ear on aspiration by a small
It is possible for a small quantity of water to be forced into this ca
especially in the violence and confusion of inspiration and swallowing in tlf*
process of drowning, when the mouth is full of water. It is impossible i
water to force its way into the middle ear after death ; hence its presenr
regarded as an important sign of drowning. B
JVfedicoLegal Questions. — These are —
l^jyketlier death was caused by drowning.
2. Whether the drowning was suicidal, homicidal or accidental
1. Whether Death was caused by Drowning.— In Northern India, t
is a common custom to throw dead bodies into running streams, and thefeS
of finding a dead body in water does not, therefore, lead one to presume IS
death was caused by drowning. Again, victims are often murdered »
poisoned first, and then their bodies are iBrMoi into water to avoid Z
detection of crime. In my experience I have found that 21 per cent outrf
the bodies removed from water were such as were thrown into a well mJ
k^L03?81 Sr river ^ ^e decease<* had teen destroyed by wounds fo
on the head or neck or by strangulation, suffocation, poisoning etc It
therefore, very essential to examine the body carefully for the evidence"
external and internal injuries— ante-mortem or post-mortem— and for
signs of poisoning. or
excluding these possibilities, an opinion as to the cause of
from drowning should be given from a number of the following
tensxic signs * — —
Presen°e °f fine' wHte' latherv fr°th about the mouth aaf
^ presence of some object firmly grasped in the hands.
_3._ The presence of a fine, white froth in the air-passages.
4. The .fcufty and oedematous condition of the lungs which exucfe^
copsBs> frothy, blood-stained fluid on section. "
- ^JL11*!?1?861106 of water' mud' weeds, etc. in the stomach or smai
mteSune or both. ;
JS., Th& presence of water in the middle ear.
remembered that these typical signs of drowning are
of a drowned person when it is removed from water w
exa?lilied inimediately. 5^ are modified
l^getlier wken the b°3yis recovered
advanced. Moreover ^utrefac^ve ^
• ^ its remo^l from water that a
a post-mortem examination even of a recent case of '