Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Emedinews:Insights on Medicolegal Issues:Section 324 of IPC in medical practice

Section 324. Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means
"Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 334, voluntarily causes hurt by means of any instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting, or any instrument which, used as weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, or by means of fire or any heated substance, or by means of any poison or any corrosive substance, or by means of any explosive substance or by means of any substance which it is deleterious to the human body to inhale, to swallow, or to receive into the blood, or by means of any animal, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both".

It is the duty of the attending doctor to record all injuries, their dimension as much as possible and the body parts where the injuries are located; the nature of injury whether simple or grievous, whether caused by sharp/blunt object, age or duration of injury and vital parameters like blood pressure, pulse, respiration along with the mental status of the patient.

When an investing officer comes to the hospital, he needs some specific answers for his legal investigation and to book a case under the law of land.
  • Are the injuries present self–inflicted or fabricated? If yes, please mention the forensic justification.
  • Are there any signs/symptoms or smell of alcohol or any drug intoxication? If yes, please opine about the mental status due the influence of intoxication. Also, preserve the sample of blood.
  • Please opine if the injured or intoxicated patient is fit to give statement? If no, please give due reasons and an approximate time interval for medical re–evaluation for his/her fitness for statement.
  • Is the condition of patient critical, severe or serious? If so, the dying declaration must be recorded by attending doctor before one or two witnesses.

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