232 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE
accused went to a place where a cart was standing, and presuming that it
belonged to a man who was sleeping on a cot close by, roused him and told
him to let him have the cart. The man explained that the cart did not
belong to him and remarked at the same time that he was ill. The accused,
thereupon, got irritated and pulled the cot about, causing the man to fall
out of it, kicked him and struck him on the side or on the ribs with a stick.
Owing to the injuries he had received, the man died very soon after.
It was held that as the deceased was suffering from a diseased spleen the
accused was guilty of causing grievous hurt.6
3. Shock.—Death may occur from shock without any visible injury
from paralysis of the heart by a blow on the cardiac region, or from the
inhibitory action of the solar plexus caused by a blow on the pit of the
stomach in the upper part of the abdomen.
Shock may be produced from exhaustion resulting from several injuries
combined, though each one of them separately may be very slight. Shock
may also result from fright due to vagus inhibition of the heart, from pain
felt in flogging or from slight injury to the genital organs. Another instance
of shock is concussion of the brain resulting from a severe blow on the head.
Shock usually appears immediately after receiving the injuries, but it
may supervene after some time, if the individual at the time of receiving:
injuries was in a state of great excitement and mental preoccupation.
Remote or Indirect Causes.—It is necessary to know the remote causes
of death due to injury as the assailant, under the law of England, is res-
ponsible for the death of his victim, if it occurs within a year and a day
after the infliction of the injury. But there is no such statutory limit in the
The remote causes of death operating secondarily from the injury are—
1. Inflammation in the internal organs, such as meningitis, cerebritisy
pleurisy, pneumonia, peritonitis, etc.
2. Septic infection of a wound causing septicaemia, pysemia or exhaus-
tion from, prolonged suppuration.
3. 'Gangrene or necrosis resulting from severe crushing of parts and
tearing of the blood vessels.
4. Infective diseases, such as erysipelas and tetanus, which may
develop through the entrance of the casual organisms through a wound.
Erysipelas occurs from three to seven days, and is commonly associated
with septic wounds of the scalp. It is more common in cold and temperate
climates than in India and the tropics. In India, tetanus occurs usually
from three to ten days after receipt of a wound or even an abrasion. It
may occur within a few hours of receipt of the injury, but in temperate
countries it usually manifests itself in two to three weeks. Cases are on
record, where the disease developed from the twenty-sixth to the thirtieth
5. Supervention of a disease from a traumatic lesion. For instance,
a wound of the abdomen may, after healing, be followed by a strangulated
hem|a with fatal results. An injury affecting the lower portion of the
spinal column or cord may cause paraplegia which may end fatally from
septic cystitis or "bed-sores and general exhaustion after an interval of some
weeks or months.
^6. Neglect of the Injured Person*—Death may occur from complications
arising from a simple injury owing to the negligence of the injured person
6, Obrten (1880) 2 AIL 766; Katanlal and Thakore, Law of Crimes, Ed. XVII, p. 697.
7. The Med. and Surg. History of the War, Part m, Surg., 1883.