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at earlier or later stages of development, is only relative. The presence of milk or of farinaceous and saccharine articles of food in the stomach or intestine of an infant would be strong evidence that it had lived some time after birth. Unfortunately, the remains of food are not very frequently found in the alimentary canal of infants alleged to have been destroyed. In certain cases of infanticide it may become of importance to determine the age of the newborn child and the time that has elapsed since its death. Its age can approximately be determined by ascertaining if it presents all the characters of a fully-matured fœtus that have already been described. It is not often possible to state exactly the time elapsing between the birth and death of an infant, as so many conditions have to be taken into consideration, such as the season of the year, the temperature, the character of the place, and the surroundings of the infant.

Examination of the Mother: Signs of Recent Delivery.— In all cases of infanticide the reputed mother should be examined as well as the infant. The examination should be made as soon as possible, for, if delayed beyond a week or ten days, the woman may have so recovered as to present no signs of having been recently delivered. Should the examination be made within three or four days after delivery, pallor of the face and weakness will be noticed; the skin will be found moist, soft, and relaxed; the eyes somewhat sunken. The pulse is soft and usually quick. The uterus can be felt through the wall of the abdomen, which feels soft, and presents transverse livid lines, later becoming white and shining, and known as the linea albicantes. The breasts are full and knotty, and often exude a watery milk. The external genitalia are swollen, the vagina is capacious, the os uteri is low down, and the

muco-sanguineous discharge from the uterus, known as the lochia, and characterized by its peculiar odor, is usually present. No one of these signs can be relied upon as proof that a woman has recently been delivered; but, if they all be present together, they would constitute a very strong presumption of it. Should the woman have died shortly after delivery, not only would the signs just mentioned be present, but in addition the uterus would be found enlarged, measuring between nine and ten inches in length; its cavity lined with remains of the decidua and the point of attachment of the placenta marked by a gangrenous-looking spot. In all cases of infanticide, the mother not only endeavors to conceal the fact that she has given birth to a child, but more especially to conceal the body of the child. The concealment of pregnancy is not an offence in the eye of the law; but the concealment of a birth, constituting a misdemeanor, renders the woman committing it liable to punishment. As the woman, however, who is convicted upon this charge is punished upon the ground of having concealed the body of the dead infant rather than upon that of having concealed its delivery, she makes every effort to get rid of the child.


Means of Committing Infanticide.-Among the different means made use of to destroy the new-born child may be mentioned suffocation, immersion in privies, strangulation, drowning, fracturing of the skull, burning, neglect, wounds, hemorrhage of the navel, exposure to cold, and poisoning. In fully four-fifths of cases of infanticide death is due to asphyxia in one form or another. Statistics show that fifty per cent. of infants criminally destroyed are suffocated, twelve per cent. immersed in privies, ten per cent. strangled, and five per cent. 1 Tardieu : Étude Médico-legale sur l'Infanticide, Paris, 1868, p. 99.

drowned. Infants are not unfrequently also destroyed by fractures of the skull and by neglect. Death caused by burns, wounds, hemorrhage of the navel, and exposure to cold occurs less often, however, in cases of infanticide, and in frequency in about the order mentioned.


Legitimacy-Inheritance-Protracted Gestation-Premature Delivery -Viability-Procreative Power in the Male and Female-Impotence -Sterility-Tenancy by Courtesy-Paternity-Affiliation - Superfœtation-Doubtful Sex-Hermaphrodism-Presumption of Death— Presumption of Survivorship—Personal Identity of the Living.

CASES involving the questions of legitimacy and inheritance are not often decided by the testimony of the medical expert alone, the evidence necessary to prove that a child is the offspring of adultery being of another character. In all such cases, however, questions arise relating to the length of time in which gestation may be prolonged or shortened.

Protracted Gestation.-The subjects of protracted gestation and premature delivery having already been considered in connection with the signs of pregnancy, it only remains to point out their bearing in relation to cases of legitimacy and inheritance. The law assumes that every child born in wedlock is legitimate unless it can be shown that the husband and wife had been separated for a longer time than that accepted as the average period of gestation, or that the husband was impotent. The difficulty, however, that would at once present itself in such a case is due to the impossibility of stating exactly what constitutes the accepted period of gestation. It is true that the average period of gestation is 280 days; nevertheless, there are authenticated cases, as already mentioned, in which gestation was prolonged to 313 or even to 325 days, or delivery was premature, as at 210 to 217 days.

But it must be admitted that the strongest possible evidence would be required to prove the legitimacy of a child

whose birth was shown not to have occurred until 313 days after the absence or death of the husband.

Premature Delivery.-As regards the relation of premature birth to questions of legitimacy and inheritance, there is no doubt that eight, seven, and even six months' infants may survive.' It has been stated that in very exceptional instances even a foetus but little over five months old may be viable. In cases, for example, where a living infant acquires the right of inheriting and transmitting property, the point that will have to be established is not whether the infant was viable in the sense that it would survive, but was it alive at the time of its birth, involving in turn the determination of what is meant by the expression being born alive. In a broad sense the fœtus must be regarded as alive at any stage of its development; the ovum, indeed, must be alive, since the embryo or foetus results from the development of a live ovum, not a dead one, impregnated by living spermatozoa. Leaving out of consideration, however, what might be regarded as merely metaphysical distinctions, as a matter of fact that which constitutes a live birth will depend upon the significance attached to that expression by the law of the land, whatever that may be. In the United States and in England neither breathing nor crying is considered essential to establish the fact that a child was born alive. It is enough if the whole body has been brought into the world and the heart has throbbed, or if a movement of any kind has been made. In Scotland and Germany crying, and in France respiration, is requisite. That crying should not be regarded as indispensable in proving a live birth is obvious, since

1 According to Haller (Elementa Physiologia, tomus octavus, Lausanne, 1778, p. 423): "Ante septimum mensem fœtus non potest superesse."

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