Unnatural Death of Foetus: A Forensic Study

Death may occur naturally, un-naturally, or as the result of a combination of both originating from oneself or another person. Foetal death is a death prior to the complete expulsion of a product of conception, irrespective of the period of pregnancy. The death is indicated by the fact that after such separation, the foetus does not breathe nor show any other evidence of life, such as the beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definitive movement of voluntary muscles. Heartbeats are to be distinguished from transient cardiac contractions; respirations are to be distinguished from fleeting respiratory efforts or gasps. For all foetal deaths aged 20 weeks and above as calculated from the start of the last menstrual period to the date of delivery, a different form called certificate of fetal death must be prepared and the causes of death completely filled out by the certifier.

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