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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

586                                              MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

filtered. The filtrate on treatment with dry hydrochloric acid in excess and
keeping for some time, shows on dilution with warm water a characteristic
pleasant ester odour in the presence of madar juice.

(B) The other portion (b) is evaporated to dryness, taken up with
water acidulated with acetic acid, filtered, treated with excess of lead acetate
and again filtered. The filtrate is treated with excess of hydrogen sulphide,
filtered free from lead and evaporated to dryness over a water bath. The
residue is extracted with absolute alcohol and the alcoholic solution evapor-
ated to dryness. A little of this extract, on injection into a frog produces, in
the presence of madar juice, convulsions ending in paralysis, death and
bloating ".

Medico-Legal Points.—The flowers, leaves, root-bark and milky juice of
madar plants are used in Indian medicine. The flowers are digestive,
stomachic and tonic in action. The leaves are alterative and are used exter-
nally as a poultice over the abdomen in colic. The powdered root-bark in 3
to 10-grain doses is used as an alterative and in 30 to 60-grain doses as an
emetic in place of ipecacuanha. The tincture prepared from it is used in
dysentery. The milky juice is used as a vesicant, as a depilatory and as a
remedy for chronic skin affections,

Madar juice is used by tanners for removing hair from skins. It also
imparts a yellow colour to the skin and destroys the offensive odour of the
fresh leather.

Madar juice is often used for procuring criminal abortion. It is either
administered by the mouth or introduced into the uterus on an " abortion
stick". It is occasionally mixed with lead oxide. A case40 is described
where death occurred from the'internal administration of madar juice with
intent to procure criminal abortion. The juice was detected in the viscera.
A case41 is reported where two pieces of sticks with some brownish sticky
substance adhering at their ends were removed from the uterus of a female,
32 years old, alleged to have died as a result of criminal abortion. The
sticks were found to be of madar. A case42 is also recorded where a woman
introduced into her uterus pieces of cloth smeared with madar juice with a
view to procuring abortion in the sixth - or seventh month of pregnancy. As
she could not bear the pain caused by the insertion, she committed suicide
by falling into a well. In his annual report for the year 1947, the Chemical
Examiner, Bengal, cites a case, where a woman, 35 years old, died after
trying to procure abortion by introducing madar juice and arsenic into her
vagina. On post-mortem examination the vaginal portion of the cervix and
fornices were ulcerated with signs of inflammation.

Madar juice is occasionally used for purposes of suicide, infanticide and
homicide. A case of infanticide is reported from Etawah in which madar
juice was found in the organs of a new-born female child.43 In his annual
report for the year 1938, the Chemical Examiner, Madras, cites a case in
which a woman administered madar juice to her male child, two years old,
who vomited and died a few hours later. In the district of Manbhum a
young woman was killed by the administration of madar juice and her body
was hanged with a rope loosely tied round her neck. At the autopsy a faint
ligature mark round the neck was found to be post-mortem, but, on the
other hand, there were patches of inflammation in the mucous membrane of

40.   U.P. Chem. Examiner's Annual Report, 1923.

41 -i Be£P£ Ch2?- Examines Annual Report, 1931, p. 8; see also Rep., 1938, p. 14;
see also Madras £hem. Examiner's-Ann. Rep., -1950- p 3  -,                                  ~

42.   Ma^as Chem. Examiner's Annual Report, 1933, p. 7; Ibid., 1939, p. 4,

A^'™r»; ^^J^^T^i £^ual ?eport' 1929> ^ 5> see ^s* Madras Chei^ Exam.
Annual Repts., 1936, p. 9, and 1940, p. 5.