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rightful heir-the evidence upon which the identification depends being the presence of scars, deformities due to fractures, etc. Similarly, in cases of assault or of robbery, the assailant must be identified. As the identity of a person, whatever the nature of the case, civil or criminal, is usually established by the members of the family, friends or acquaintances, and not by a physician, it is unnecessary to dwell upon the subject of the personal identity of the living.

In this connection it may be stated, however, that among the more important means of identification may be mentioned the size of the person, the dress, kind of voice, the presence of moles, scars, deformities, cicatrices, nævi, tattoo marks, etc.1 In relation to the subject of personal identity, a few words with reference to the distance at which persons can be seen and sounds heard do not appear inappropriate. A man of ordinary height may be seen on a clear day and on level ground at a distance of from two to three miles, though not necessarily recognized. The recognition of a person depends not only upon being seen, but upon the appreciation of the peculiarities afforded by his size, gait, complexion, color of hair and eyes, etc. Even the best known persons are not always recognized at a distance of one hundred and nine yards; less well-known ones not being recognized even though but thirty yards away. Wellknown persons cannot be recognized in the clearest moonlight twenty yards away, and by starlight at a distance exceeding twelve feet, though the light from a flash of lightning or from a pistol-shot may enable a person to recognize another as a thief or an assailant. The distance at which sounds can be heard, such as the report of a gun or a pistol, being dependent upon the condition of the atmosphere, 1 Woodman and Tidy: op. cit., pp. 639–641.

moisture, direction of the wind, is too variable to be positively stated. As well known, however, the velocity of sound being at mean temperature about 1130 feet in a second, if a flash of light is seen and a report is heard afterwards, on the supposition that they were simultaneously produced, the distance separating the person who fired and the one hearing the report can be calculated.


Feigned Bodily Diseases-Hypnotism-Life Insurance-Medical Malpractice-Medical Registration.

Feigned bodily diseases very frequently demand the attention of the medical examiner, especially in the cases of soldiers, sailors, and prisoners, who resort to any and every pretext to shirk their duties; and of civilians, who hope in this way to avoid serving on juries, appearing as witnesses, or to escape military service. It is almost incredible what malingerers will resort to in order to accomplish their purpose, indulging in the most disgusting performances: swallowing feces, urine, blood, mutilating themselves as occasion may require. Disease is sometimes simulated by simply lying, or by mimicry, or cunning; at other times by the aid of trusses, splints, bandages, spectacles, crutches, and such means. The motives inducing a person to simulate disease are usually fear, gain, laziness, notoriety. Thus, for example, it is not unusual, especially abroad, where military service is compulsory, for such as are liable to cut off a finger, break a tooth, or put out an eye, to avoid conscription. The hope of gain is a very common motive, as in the attempts so often made to obtain damages for injuries incurred in railroad accidents. Beggars and others, to escape work and to get into hospitals or almshouses, often feign disease.

Hysterical persons, especially women, will stoop to every kind of deceit, and submit even to harsh treatment, through a pure love of notoriety. While there is no kind of disease or injury which malingerers will not simulate in order

to accomplish their purpose, whatever that may be, among the most common of these may be mentioned the feigning of fever, heart disease, consumption, hæmaturia, incontinence of urine, epilepsy, paralysis, catalepsy, deafness, dumbness, blindness, tumors, wounds, etc. All such cases of malingering demand the greatest patience and tact on the part of the medical examiner. Not only one but several visits may be required before the examiner can be satisfied that the case is one of malingering. The visits should be paid at an hour when the suspected person is least likely to expect them. The parts of the body said to be diseased or injured should be examined unclothed, thoroughly exposed, all dressings and bandages being removed. No attention or importance should be attached to the statements of either the person supposed to be malingering, or of his relatives or friends. The prescribing of some disagreeable medicine, or the suggestion of using anaesthetics, and performing a dangerous operation, may sometimes frighten the individual into confessing imposture. In some obstinate cases, however, all means, even of a severe character, fail to elicit confession.


Relation of Hypnotism to Crime.—The question of the possibility of a crime being committed by an individual when hypnotized at the suggestion of another, and the responsibility so incurred by one or both, is still one of discussion. It is true that experiments have been made which show the remote possibility of crime being committed under such circumstances, as in the case, for example,


Malingerers appear to have been as common in ancient as in modern times. Even so far back as the time of Galen rules were given for the guidance of the physician in detecting such frauds (London Med. Gazette, vol. 17, p. 989).

2 Zacchias: op. cit., Lib. iii., Tit. ii., Quaest. ii., p. 288.

of a hypnotized woman at the command of another plunging a dirk into a manikin dressed up as a woman. But it must be admitted that there is no evidence whatever that a murder has ever thus taken place. In hypnotized persons, women especially, hysteria constitutes so important a factor, and hysteria is so often simulated, that it would become difficult if not impossible for the medical examiner to state positively to what extent a woman acting in the manner just described should be held responsible.

Life-insurance.-A life-insurance may be regarded as a contract, the deed being termed a policy, whereby a company, in consideration of a premium paid in instalments or in a lump sum, agrees to pay a definite sum to the heirs of the insured at death, or at some definite period of life. In the case of the former, the amount insured for being payable only at death, it becomes incumbent upon the heirs to prove most positively, and to the entire satisfaction of the company, that the insured person is actually dead. For example, in cases of persons who have disappeared, who went to sea and were never heard of again, questions as to presumption of death or of survivorship may demand the attention of the medical examiner. The question as to the general health of an applicant for a policy of insurance, the tendency to disease through inheritance, alcoholism, excessive use of tobacco, or other causes, is that which brings the medical profession in the most intimate relation with the insurance companies. In almost all the lawsuits

1 The attention of the writer has been called to two cases of murder, as reported in the daily papers, in which it was alleged that the defence offered was that the accused had committed the crime, when hypnotized, at the instigation of the hypnotizer. In one case the hypnotized was adjudged innocent of the crime of murder, the hypnotizer guilty.

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