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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

CAUSES  OF  DEATH FROM WOUNDS                                     231

IP.C.—Oudh Chief Crt. Cr. Appeal No. 401 of 1934,  K. E. v. Sat 3amir, cr.d other*;
35 Cr. Law Jour,, 1935, p. 573.

6. In a criminal appeal in the Oudh Chief Court where a man died of shock
produced by multiple injuries including two lacerated wounds on the scalp with frac-
ture of the vertex inflicted with some blunt weapon on the head and some other parts
of the body, it was held that the accused had no intention, of murder, and were sen-
tenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment under section 325, IP.C.—K. £, v. Ram
Lai and others ; 46 Cr. Law Jour., 1945, p. 728.

The causes of death from wounds acre immediate or direct and remote
or indirect.

Immediate or Direct Causes.—These are—

1.   Haemorrhage.       2.    Injury of a vital organ.       3.    Shock.

1.    Haemorrhage.—This may be external or internal.   External haemor-
rhage may produce syncope and cause death either rapidly, if a large blood
vessel, such as the carotid or femoral artery, has "been wounded, or slowly,
if a number of small vessels has been injured.   The amount of haemorrhage
required to cause syncope varies according to circumstances.    The sudden
loss of blood is more dangerous than the same quantity lost slowly.   The
loss of one-third of the blood of the body is almost enough to cause death,
and the fetal quantity of blood in the body of an adult is on an average
about five per cent of the body weight.   Children, women and old persons
die from the loss of a much smaller quantity.   Persons with hsemorrhagic
diathesis  or haemophiliacs  may  die  of  haemorrhage  even  from  a trifling
injury.

A case-4 is reported in which, the deceased was stabbed with a knife on the left
forearm by the accused in the course of an altercation between them. The radial artery
was pierced and the deceased died of haemorrhage soon after. It was held that the
forearm was not a vital part and the offence was not murder. It was not also culpable
homicide not amounting to murder, and the accused was only guilty of voluntarily
causing grievous hurt. He could therefore be convicted only under section 326, IJP.C.,
and not under section 302, IP.C. He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for
three years.

Internal hsemorrhage may occur in penetrating and gunshot wounds.
It need not be profuse for a fatal result; for a small quantity of haemorrhage
in the brain or into the pleural cavities or pericardium may prove ^rapidly
fatal by disturbing the functions of the brain, lungs or heart from mechani-
cal pressure on them. Blood flowing into the windpipe may cause death
mechanically by asphyxia.

2.    Injury of a Vital Organ.—Severe injury of a vital organ, such as
crushing of the brain, heart, lungs, etc., is, as a rule, rapidly fatal.

When death occurs from a slight injury .inflicted on a previously
diseased organ, such as the rupture of an enlarged spleen, perforation of a
chronic intestinal ulcer, or bursting of an aneurysm, etc., the assailant
inflicting such an injury cannot be charged with culpable homicide, but he
is convicted of simple or grievous hurt, if it be proved that his intention
was not to kill his victim, that he could not possibly have known the exist-
ence of that disease and that the same injury could not have proved fatal
when inflicted on an ordinary healthy individual, In a case where a man
received two or three simple injuries, one being on the head, was knocked
down and died shortly afterwards on account of the rupture of the spleen
which was enlarged owing to disease, it was held that where a person dies
as the result of simple injuries owing to the fact that his spleen is diseased
and it is not shown that the accused had the knowledge of this fact, he can,
only be convicted of causing simple hurt.5 In another case where

4.    Madras High Court Cr. App. Ho. 393 of 1938, K. E. v. Kotteng&dfm JUaast;
Law J.} 1939, p. 308.

5.    24 Criminal Law Journal, I92S, p. 427.