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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

360

]VIEBICAL JURISPRUDENCE

sudden escape of fluid from her vagina on the 7th October 1930, at 7 a.m., and sought
admission into the hospital on the next day at 4 pjn., after she had travelled 48 miles
by a motor car to reach the hospital. She did not think that she was pregnant, as she
had no amenorrhcea. During the last five months the periods were irregular and during
the last three months the menstrual flow was scanty. She attributed it to the approach
of the menopause. On examination the festal heart sounds were heard on the left side,
the vertex was presenting and the membranes had already ruptured with a partial
dilatation of the os. At 7 pjn, the os was fully dilated and a living female child was
delivered with forceps. It weighed 6| pounds.

Fig. 153.—Infanticide:   Cut throat.
(From a photograph lent kindly by Dr. H. S. Mehta.)

However, cases in which there are distinct motives for pleading uncon-
scious pregnanc^require very careful examination. Such cases are pro-
bably unworthy of belief. This remark especially applies to a widow or an
unmarried woman charged with infanticide, who is bound to consult a close
friend or a medical practitioner on seeing the altered condition of her body,
knowing fully well that she has exposed herself to the chances of pregnancy.

With reference to the second point it would be necessary for her to prove
precipitate labour,

24wJB3$tace to ligature the cord after it is cut may bleed the child to
(Jeata, E&lal haemorrhage may also occur, if the cord is not tightly
ligatoedl

f^^^JSS5JQHu to remove the child from the mother's discharges may
result in suffocation. In the absence of a medical practitioner or any other
attendant the question about the capacity of a woman after delivery may be
raised. It is not easy to answer this question. Many women are known to
have carried the child for a long distance soon after delivery, while other
women may get so much exhausted as not to be able to move-at all. It
depends much upon the strength of the woman, and whether she is a primi-
para or a multipara, A weakly primiparous woman may faint away after
delivery from mere exhaustion, or may be incapable of attending to the
child from mere ignorance. The question has to be decided on circumstan-
tial evidence.

.-____,             Protect the child from cold or heat.   Exposure of a

newly-born child to coM or heat may destroy its life with&eriJeaving any
marks of violence suggestive of the cause of death except perhaps cerebral
congestion.