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delighted to recognize the exact reproduction of familiar tones and accents of the Fatherland.
So limitless is the field of research in this direction that there is scarcely an anthropological, biological, or medical discovery that may not sooner or later be applied with profit in the investigations of personal identity where the combined efforts of an attorney and an expert are required.
After the most rigid and scrutinizing anatomical and material examination is made and the closest inquisition entered on, it may often be impossible to give a reasonable explanation for the cause of the physical facts observed. The medical man should remember that his is the one great exception to the rule that rigidly excludes opinions, and that scientific men called as witnesses may not give their opinion as to the general merits of the case, but only as to the facts already proved. This qualifying rule being altogether reversed in investigations into personal identity, and the physician's opinion as to identity being indispensable, it becomes a matter of most serious import that this opinion should be grounded upon absolute and wellattested facts.
THE TIME OF DEATH.
H. P. LOOMIS, A.M., M.D., Professor of Pathology in the University of the City of New York; Visiting Physician
and Curator to Bellevue Hospital, New York; Pathologist to the
Board of Health, New York City; President New
York Pathological Society, etc., etc.
MEDICO-LEGAL DETERMINATION OF
THE TIME OF DEATH.
SIGNS OF DEATH.
THE cessation of respiration and the absence of audible heartbeats are signs generally regarded as sufficient in themselves to determine the reality of death. But persons have been resuscitated from a state of asphyxia or have recovered from a state of catalepsy or lethargy in whom, to all appearances, the respiratory and circulatory processes have been arrested.
So it is advisable that we should be acquainted with some absolute tests of death which are not connected with the heartsounds or the respiration.
It is well known that these important functions, although apparently held in abeyance, must be speedily re-established so as to be recognized, or death will rapidly follow. This condition of apparently suspended animation is seen among hibernating animals; the bear, for instance, will remain for four or five months without food or drink in a state of lethargy—the heartaction and respiration hardly appreciable. Yet it will be sufficiently rapid to sustain life during the slow metabolic processes. A number of well-authenticated cases are reported in which persons could slacken their heart-action, so that no movement of the organ could be appreciated. The case of Colonel Townsend, reported by Cheyne, is an example. He possessed the power of apparently dying, by slowing his heart so that there was no pulse or heart-action discernible. The longest period he could remain in this inanimate state was half an hour.
Instances have occurred in the new-born child where without question there have been no heart-beats or respiratory movements for a number of minutes, the limit being set at five.
These are exceptional cases. and it is setting at defiance