Monday, 12 November 2012

Emedinews:Insights on Medicolegal Issues:The doctor must preserve broken fragments of weapon if found in wounds to identify the weapon or connect the accused person with the crime.

  • Death due to sharp force violence is the most common cause of homicide in India, in many parts of Europe, as well as in Africa and Asia. It also accounts for 30% of fatal and non–fatal family assaults in the USA
  • The doctor conducting the postmortem examination must keep in mind that the shape and size of the wound suggests the width and type of weapon, whether it is single–edged or otherwise. The depth of the wound will indicate the length of weapon, the directions and dimensions of the wound indicate the relative position of the assailant and the victim, and the position, direction and number of wound may indicate manner of production, i.e., suicide, accident or homicide.
  • I have conducted medicolegal postmortem of 29 cases of deaths due to stab wound from South Delhi in the year 2010.
  • A stab wound is produced by long narrow instruments with blunt or pointed ends such as knife, dagger, nail, needle, spear, arrow, screw driver etc. into the depths of the body; the wound is deeper than its length and width on the skin.
  • The wound is caused by driving the object into the body or from the body’s pressing or falling against the object and object penetrate due to the momentum of the body.
  • The wound is called punctured wound when it enters a body cavity only one way; when the weapon enters the body on one side and comes out from the other side, it is called perforating wound.
  • The entry wound is larger and the exit wound is smaller due to tapering of the blade in stab wounds which is contrary to fire arm missile entry and exit wounds.
  • The doctor must preserve for police, broken fragment of weapon if found; it will identify the weapon or connect the accused person with the crime.

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