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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

ACTS OF  COMMISSION

357

In October 1921, the body of a newly-born infant was found lying in the grass farm
at Naka Hindola. The umbilical cord was twisted round the neck, and the knot was
tightened by fixing a piece of madar root in its loop and across the windpipe. The cord
was twenty-five inches long with one end attached to the navel and the other end cut
with a knife or a pair of scissors. On removing the cord, a soft depressed mark, one inch
bv a quarter of an inch, was found encircling the neck over the windpipe. There was
extravasation of blood in the subcutaneous tissues under the ligature mark. The wind-
pipe was congested. The lungs responded to the hydrostatic test and were congested.

Rarely, the natural folds of the skin in the neck of a fat child may
resemble the cord marks caused by strangulation, but in that case no marks
of abrasions or any extravasation of blood will be visible on the neck.

In cases of throttling, in addition to the bruises from the pressure of the
fingers and thumb and scratches from the finger-nails found on the neck
rupture of the muscles and fracture of the laryngeal or trachea! cartilages
may be detected, as -undue violence is used in throttling infants.

3.   Drowning.—"Hug^is- a rare form of child murder.   As recorded by

Chevefs^^submersion of the child's face into a cauldron of warm milk
(Dudh pita karna) used to be a common method of infanticide in Benares
and other neighbouring places. Nowadays the usual custom is first to kill

an infant by suffocation,
strangulation, etc., and then
to throw the body into a
cesspool, well, tank or river
with a view to concealing
the crime.

The post-mortem appear-
ances would be similar to
those found in adults, if the
child was drowned after
respiration had been estab-
lished. No signs would be
evident, if a woman was
delivered in a bath and the
child was drowned before
"respiration had taken place.

4.   Fragtpre of the Crsk

nhmi.-^JiaefciH'e of the era--
nial bones results from a-
blow on the head with ^
blunt weapon or from th#
head being dashed against
a wall or a hard ground or
being pressed forcibly under
a leg of a bedstead (ckar-
poy). Excessive violence
being used in such cases,
depressed or comminuted
and extensive fractures of
the skull bones with cere-
bral haemorrhage and con-
tusion or laceration of the
brain and contusions
lacerated wounds of
scalp are usually

Fig. 152.—Infanticide:  Throttling.   Note abrasions on

neck and face.
(From a photograph lent kindly by Dr. H. S. Mehta.)

> A newly-born child which was found lying dead on a railway line m
Station showed, on post-mortem examination, fracture of the occipital fooaae,

IS.   Med. Juris., Ed. HI, p. 753.