On the uncertainty of the signs of murder in the case of bastard children

On the uncertainty of the signs of murder in the case of bastard children

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5
(1 Review)
On the uncertainty of the signs of murder in the case of bastard children by William Hunter

Published:

1818

Pages:

22

Downloads:

601

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On the uncertainty of the signs of murder in the case of bastard children

By

5
(1 Review)

Book Excerpt

t she had intended to put an end to her own life and to that of her child. One shudders to think that innocent women may have suffered an ignominous death, from such equivocal proofs and inconclusive reasoning.

Most of these reflections would naturally occur to any unprejudiced person, and therefore upon a trial in this country, where we are so happy as to be under the protection of judges, who, by their education, studies, and habits, are above the reach of vulgar prejudices, and make it a rule for their conduct to suppose the accused party innocent till guilt be proved; with such judges, I say, there will be little danger of an innocent woman being condemned by false reasoning. But danger, in the cases of which we are now treating, may arise from the evidence and opinions given by physical people, who are called in to settle questions in science, which judges and jurymen are supposed not to know with accuracy. In general I am afraid too much has been left to our decision. Many of our profession are n

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A curious document. It is a talk by a British doctor given to other doctors concerning the dead babies of shamed (unwed) mothers. It is strange in its compassion. The gist of the talk is that in most cases, what seems to be murder, isn't. The author gives many examples of circumstances and medical conditions that erroneously can lead a jury or even a doctor to blame murder.

It was presented seven years after the Declaration of Independence, and has caused me to completely revise my opinion of medicine of the time.
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