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MEDICAL AND PHYSICAL
JOHN NORTH, Esq. F.L.S.
MEMBER OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS, AND OF THE MEDICAL AND
PROPESSOR OF BOTANY IN KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON, AND TO THE MEDICO.
JOHN SOUTER, 73, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD;
AND TO BE HAD OF ALL MEDICAL BOOKSELLERS.
For many fortunate discoveries in medicine, and for the detection of oumerous errors, the world is indebted to the rapid circulation of Monthly Journals ; and there never existed any work to which the laculty in Europe and America, were under deeper obligations than to the Medical and Physical Journal of London,' now forming a long but an invaluable series."--RUSH.
INFANTICIDE. Remarks upon the Subject of Infanticide. By Alfred S.
Taylor, Esq., Lecturer on Medical Jurisprudence, &c. in Guy's Hospital.
(Continued from page 367 of the last volume.) It has been hitherto my object to determine the extent to which the objection on the ground of putrefaction in the lungs, may influence the results obtained by the employment of the Docimasia pulmonaris, or hydrostatic test, in cases of suspected Infanticide. How far I may have succeeded in this, it will be for the reader to determine; but I cannot dismiss this "objection” without endeavouring to expose still further its utter untenableness. For this purpose I will take two supposed cases, upon which the medical jurist may be consulted. The principal facts regarding the generation of air in the lungs during the process of putrefaction having been already stated, it will be unnecessary to revert to them.
In the first of these cases, I will suppose that putrefaction has taken place to a very great extent; that not only the lungs, but every other organ in the body, will float, when immersed in water; that the canalis arteriosus is pervious throughout; and that the foramen ovale is open.* Here, then, the medical witness is called upon to determine whether that child has respired or not. Upon examining the lungs, the air may be observed, as described by Dr. Hunter, dispersed in large vesicles along the fissures and between the component lobuli; yet still, when these organs are submitted to violent compression, it may be found impossible to deprive
* The reasons for observing the state of these two parts will be more fully explained in the sequel; but I may now observe, that, soon after the establishment of respiration, the diameter of the one becomes diminished, and the other contracted.
407. No. 79, New Series.