Identification of the Human Skeleton, a Medico-Legal Study

To Which Was Awarded the Prize of the Massachusetts Medical Society for 1878

Thomas Dwight

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Naturwissenschaften, Medizin, Informatik, Technik / Biologie

Beschreibung

Whilst the greatest effort has been made to ensure the quality of this text, due to the historical nature of this content, in some rare cases there may be minor issues with legibility. It occasionally happens that the result of a criminal trial, or of a law suit, may depend on the identification of a skeleton or of parts of it. Most frequently the body can be recognized, and very commonly articles of dress or of ornament found with it put its individuality beyond a reasonable doubt. In the latter class of cases, however, it is sometimes thought desirable to prove that the bones themselves could or must have belonged to a person of the height, sex and age of the deceased.<br><br>In rare cases the identification must rest on the bones alone, and then the duties of an expert are of great importance. He will find certain statements of doubtful correctness concerning the proportions of the different parts, but he will otherwise be left entirely to his own discretion in estimating the height, and he will be confused in determining the sex and age by the diversity of the assertions of even high authorities.<br><br>The purpose of this paper is to lessen these difficulties by giving practical directions how to work, by testing the truth of the statements of authors, and when these disagree by declaring which one, in the writer's opinion, is most trustworthy, and finally, by calling attention to a number of anatomical facts, some of which are believed to have been overlooked, and others of which are not easily found.

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