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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

280                                              MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

The external violence which causes injury to the pregnant uterus may
sometimes "be responsible for producing injury on the foetus.

Partial or complete separation of the placenta caused by a blow on the
abdomen during pregnancy may cause fatal haemorrhage.

Urethra.—The male urethra may be ruptured by a kick in the perinaeum,
by a fall astride some projecting substance, such as a fence or beam, by a
fractured piece of the pubic bone or by the introduction of a foreign body.
The seat of rupture is usually in front of, or behind, the triangular ligament,,
just where the urethra passes under the pubic arch. Death may occur from
.extravasation of urine, but rupture may heal without any serious effects iŁ
a tear is a slight one, and if immediate surgical treatment is undertaken.

The female urethra may be ruptured by an act of rape. I saw a girl of
eight years, whose anterior urethral wall was lacerated to an extent of
I" X sy/ by an act of rape committed by a grown-up man. Schepetinsky56>
also reports the case of a woman, 23 years old, who had been raped by an
intoxicated man. Her urethra was abnormally wide, and there was a bleed-
ing rupture, 3 or 4 cm. long, in the posterior wall, and she was suffering from
gonorrhoea.

Penis.—Wounds of the penis and its total extirpation, if not fatal by
shock and haemorrhage, are not dangerous. Cutting off the penis with a
knife or razor is one of the usual modes of punishment for adultery in India.
In order to avenge himself on one Raghubar Dayal who had committed
adultery with his wife, one Murli of Kheri District amputated his penis at
its root, placed it in his mouth and then killed him.57 Sometimes, the victim
is first killed, and then his genital organ is cut off.

Mutilation of the penis and even castration are occasionally self-inflicted
by lunatics or by individuals who want to be eunuchs or wish to dedicate
their lives to a goddess, viz. Bahucharaji, in the Gujarat Province. On
September 17, 1932, I saw one Hijra, called Pancham alias Ilaichi, aged 28
years, who had cut off his penis and scrotum with the testicles by one sweep
of a knife, causing an incised wound, 4" X 4", below the pubes and directed
from above downwards. When he was brought to hospital, the wound was
covered with curd and a piece of a dirty rag. He was discharged cured
after ten days.

Superficial incised wounds of the penis are sometimes produced to
fabricate a false charge of assault.

The penis may be injured by a squeeze or crush, and the engorged
penis, when in a state of erection, may be completely avulsed from the pubes
by a forcible pull,

Biondi reports the case of a man, aged 64 years, whose penis was pulled off by an
energetic young woman with whom he had attempted sexual intercourse. The case
was brought into court and each party gave a different version as to how the thing
actually occurred. The woman's story was that the man tried to seduce her and that
in self-defence she pulled forcibly at the penis which came off in the struggle. From
certain experiments made at the cadaver with a view to elucidating the question it was
found that the nature of the injuries sustained in the case was exactly similar to that
which was produced when the penis was forcibly avulsed and the amount of force
required to tear off the penis in a flaccid state was far in excess of that which any
ordinary person would be likely to possess. But when the penis was erect the resistance
was very much reduced so that a comparatively moderate amount of force quite within
the possibility of a Woman of average strength was quite sufficient to completely avulse
the penis.—La Clin. Mod., An. 12, N. 18; Brit Med. Jour., Aug. 18, 1900, Epitome, p. 26.

Testicles,—Contusion of the testicles results from blows, kicks and
squeezes, and is accompanied by severe pain of a sickening character, which

56.   ZentraXblatt for Gynakoloige, Leipzig, Oct. 4, 1930, p. 2,530 ; Jour, Amer. Med. Assad,
Jan. 10T 1931, p. 155.

57.   Chief Court of Oudh Grim. Appeal No. 164 of 1928,