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PREGNANCY, med. jurisp. This is defined by medical writer; to be the state of a female who has within her ovary or womb, a fecundated germ which gradually becomes developed in the latter receptaale. Dunglison's Med. Diet. h. t.

2. The subject may be considered with reference to the signs of pregnancy; its duration; and the laws relating to it.

3. - 1. The fact that women sometimes conceal their state of pregnancy in order to avoid disgrace, and to destroy their offspring in its mature or immature state; and that in other cases to gratify the wishes of relations, the desire to deprive the legal successor of his just claims, to gratify their avarice by extorting money, and to avoid or delay execution, pregnancy is prtended, renders it necessary that an inquiry should take place to ascertain whether a woman has or has not been pregnant.

4. There are certain signs which usually indicate this state; these have been divided into those which affect the system generally, and those which affect the uterus.

5. - 1. The changes observed in the system from conception and pregnancy, are principally the following; namely, increased irritability of temper, melancholy, a languid cast of countenance, nausea, heart-burn, loathing of food, vomiting in the morning, an increased salivary discharge, feverish neat, with emaciation and costiveness, occasionally depravity of appetite, a congestion in the head, which gives rise to spots on the face, to headache, and erratic pains in the face and teeth. The pressure of increasing pregnancy, occasions protrusion of the umbilicus, and, sometimes, varicose tumors or anasarcous swellings of the lower extremities. The breasts also enlarge, an areola, or brown circle is observed around the nipples, and a secretion of lymph, composed of milk and water, takes place. It should be remembered that these do not occur in every pregnancy, but many of them in most cases.

6. - 2. The changes which affect the uterus, are, a suppression and cessation of the menses; an augmentation in size of the womb, which becomes perceptible between the eighth and tenth weeks; as time progresses, the enlargement continues about the middle of pregnancy, the woman feels the motion of the child, and this is called quickening. (q. v.) The vagina is also subject to alteration, as its glands throw out more mucus, and apparently prepare the parts for the passage of the foetus. Ryan's Med. Jur. 112, 113, 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 157, 158; 2 Dunglison's Human Physiology, 361. These are the general signs of pregnancy; it will be proper to consider them more minutely, though briefly, in detail.

7. - 1. The expansion and enlargement of the abdomen. This sign is not visible during the early months of pregnancy, and by art in the disposition of the dress and the use of stays, it may be concealed for a much longer period. The corpulency of the woman or the peculiarity of her form, may also contribute to produce the same effect. In common cases, where there is no such obstacle, this sign is generally manifest at the end of the fourth month, and continues till delivery. But the enlargement may originate from disease; from suppression or retention of the menses; tympanites; dropsy; or schirrosity of the liver and spleen. Patient and assiduous investigation and professional skill are requisite to pronounce as to this sign, and all these may fail. Fodere, tome i. p. 443. Cyclop. of Practical Medicnae, h. t. Cooper's Lect. vol. ii. p. 163.

8. - 2. Change in the state of the breasts. They are said to grow larger and more firm; but this enlargement occurs in suppressed menses, and sometimes at the period of the cessation of the menses; and sometimes they do not enlarge till after delivery. The dark appearance of the areola is no safe criterion; and the milky fluid may occur without pregnancy.

9. - 3. The suppression of the menses. Although this usually follows conception, yet in some cases menstruation is carried on till within a few weeks of delivery. When the suppression takes place, it is not always the effect of impregnation; it may, and frequently does arise, from, disease. Some medical authors, however, deem the suppression to be a never failing consequence of conception.

10. - 4. The loss of appet ite, nausea, vomiting, &c. Although attendant upon pregnancy in many cases, are very equivocal signs.

11. - 5. The motion of the foetus in the mother's womb. In the early months of pregnancy this is wanting, but afterwards it can be ascertained. In cases of concealed pregnancy it cannot be ascertained from the declarations of the mother, and the examiner must discover it by other means. When the fcetus is alive, the sudden application of the hand, immediately after it has been dipped in cold water, over the regions of the uterus, will generally produce a motion of the foetus; but this is not an infallible test, the foetus may be dead, or there may be twins; in the first case, then, there will be no motion and in the latter, the motion is not felt sometimes until a late period. Vide Quickening.

12. - 6. Alteration in the state of the uterus. This is ascertained by what is technically called the touch. This is an examination, made with the hand of the examiner, of the uterus.

13. - 7. By the application of auscultation to the impregnated uterus, it is said certainty can be obtained. The indications of the presence of a living foetus in the womb, as derived from auscultation, are two: - 1. The action of the foetal heart This is marked by double pulsations; that of the foetus generally exceeds in frequency the maternal pulse. These pulsations may be perceived at the fifth, or between the fifth and sixth months. Their situation varies with that of the child. 2. The other auscultatory sign to denote the presence of the foetus has been variously denominated the placental bellows sound, the placental sound, and the utero placental souffflet. It is generally agreed that its seat is in the enlarged vessels of the portion of the uterus which is immediately connected with the placenta. According to Laennec, it is an arterial pulsation perfectly isochronous with the pulse of the mother, and accompanied by a rushing noise, resembling the blast of a pair of a bellows. It commonly begins to be beard with the aid of the stethoscope, (an instrument invented by Professor Laennec of Paris, for examining the chest) at the end of the fourth month of pregnancy. In the case of twins, Laennec detected the pulsation of two foetal hearts before delivery, by means of this instrument.

14. - 8. Another sign of pregnancy has been discovered, which is said by M. Jaquemin never to fail. It is the peculiar dark color which the mucous merabrane of the vagina acquires during this state. It was only after an examination of four thousand five hundred women that M. Jacquemin came to the conclusion which be formed of the certainty of this sign. Parent Duchatellet, De la Prostitution dans la ville de Paris, c, 3, 5.

15. It is, always difficult though perhaps not impossible to ascertain the presence of the foetus, and on the other band, many of the signs which would indicate such presence, have been known to fail. 1 Beck's Med. Jur. ch. Chit. Med. Jur. b. t.; Ryan's Med. Jur. 112, 113; Allison's Princ. of the Cr., Law of Scotl. ch. 3, p. 153; 1 Briand, Med. Leg. c. 3.

16.- 2. The duration of human pregnancy is not certain, and probably is not the same in every woman. It may perbaps be safely stated that forty weeks is the ordinary duration, though much discussion has taken place among medico-legal writers on this subject, and opinions fluctuate largely. 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 862. This is occasioned perhaps by the difficulty of ascertaining the time from which this period begins to run. Chit. Med. Jur. 409; Dewees, Midwifery, 125; 1 Paris & Fonbl. 218, 230, 245; 2 Dunglison's Human Physiology, 362; Rvan's Med. Jur. 121; 1 Fodere, M4d. Leg. 407-416.

17. - 3. The laws relating to pregnancy are to be considered, first, in reference to the fact of pregnancy; and, secondly, inrelation to its duration.

18. - 1. As to the fad of pregnancy. There are two cases where the fact whether a woman is or has been pregnant is of importance; when it is supposed she pretends pregnancy, and when she is charged with concealing it.

19. - 1st. Pretended pregnancy may arise from two causes: the one when a widow feigns herself with child, in order to produce a supposititious heir to the estate. In this case in England the heir presumptive may have a writ de ventre inspiciendo, to examine whether she be with child or not; and if she be, to keep her under proper restraint until delivered; but if, upon examination, the widow be found not pregnant, the presumptive heir shall be admitted to the inheritance, though liable to lose it again on the birth of a child within forty weeks from the death of the hushand. 1 Bl. Com. 456; Cro. Eliz. 566; 4 Bro. C. C. 90; 2 P. Wms. 591; Cox's C. C. 297. In the civil law there was a similar practice. Dig. 25, 4.

20. The second cause of pretended pregnancy occurs when a woman has been sentenced to death, for the commission of a crime. At common law, in case this plea be made before execution, the court must direct a jury of twelve matrons, or discreet women, to ascertain the fact, and if they bring in their verdict quick with child, execution shall be staid generally till the next session of the court, and so from session to session till either she be delivered, or proves by the lapse of time, not to have been with child at all. 4 Bl. Com. 394, 395; 1 Bay, 487. It is proper to remark that a verdict of the matrons that the woman is pregnant is not sufficient, she must be found to be quick with child. (q. v.)

21. Whether under the English law a woman would be hanged who could be proved to be privement enceinte, beyond all doubt, is not certain; but in this country, it is presumed if it could be made to appear, indubitably: that the woman was pregnant, though not quick with child, the execution would be respited until after delivery. Fatal errors have been made by juries of matrons. A case occurred at Norwich in England in the month of March, 1833, of a murderess who pleaded pregnancy. Twelve married women were impanneled on the jury; after an hour's examination, they returned a verdict that she was not quick with child. She was ordered for execution. Fortunately three of the principal surgeons in the place, fearing some error, waited upon the convict and examined her; they found her not only pregnant, but quick with child. The matter was represented to the judge, who respited the execution, and on the 11th day of July she was safely delivered of a living child. London Medical Gazette, vol. xii. p. 24, 585. 22. In New York it is provided by legislative enactment, (2 Rev. Stat. 658,) that "if a female convict, sentenced to the punishment of death, be pregnant, the sheriff shall summon a jury of six physicians, and shall give notice to the district attorney, who shall have power to subpoena witnesses. If, on such inquisition, it shall appear that the female is quick with child, the sheriff shall suspend the execution, and transmit the inquisition to the governor. Whenever the governor shall be satisfied that she is no longer quick with child, he shall issue Iiis warrant for execution, or commute it, by imprisonment for life in the state prison."

23. By the laws of. Franco, "if a woman condemned to death declares herself to be pregnant, and it is verified that she is pregnant, she shall not suffer her punishment till after her delivery. Code Penal, art. 27.

24. - 2d. Concealed pregnancy seldom takes place except for the criminal purpose of destroying the life of the foetus in utero, or of the child immediately after its birth. The extreme facility of extinguishing the infant life, at the time, or shortly after birth,, and the experienced difficulty of proving this unnatural crime, has induced the passage of laws, in perhaps all the states, as well as in England and other countries, calculated to facilitate the proof, land also to punish the very act of concealment of pregnancy and death of the child, when, if born alive, it would have been a bastard. The English statute of 21 Jac. 1, c. 27, required that any mother of such child who had endeavored to conceal its birth, should prove, by one witness at least, that the child was actually born dead; and for want of such proof it arrived at the forced conclusion that the mother murdered it. But it was considered a blot upon even the English code, and it was therefore repealed by 43 Geo. III. c. 58, s. 3. An act of assembly of Pennsylvania, of the 31st May, 1781, made the concealment of the death of a bastard child conclusive evidence to convict the mother of murder; which was repealed by the act of 5th of April, 1790, s. 6, which declared that the constrained presumption that the child whose death is concealed, was therefore murdered by the mother, shall not be sufficient to convict the party indicted, without probable presumptive proof is given that the child was born alive. The law was further modified by the act of 22d of April, 1794, s. 18, which declares that the concealment of the death of any such child shall not be conclusive evidence to convict the party indicted of the murder of her child, unless the circumstances attending it be such as shall satisfy the mind of the jury, that she did wilfully and maliciously troy take away the life of such a child. The last mentioned act, section 17, punishes the concealment of the death of a bastard child by fine and imprisonment. See, for the law of Connecticut on the subject, 2 Swift's Digest, 296. See Alison's Principles of the Criminal Law of Scotland, ch. 3.

26. - 2. As to the duration of pregnancy. Lord Coke lays down the peremptory rule that forty weeks is the longest time allowed by law for gestation. Co. Litt. 123. There does not, however, appear to be any time fixed by the law as to the duration of pregnancy. Note by Hargr. & Butler, to 1 Inst. 123, b: 1 Rolle's Ab. 356, 1. 10; Cro. Jac. 541; Palm. 9.

27. The civil code of Louisiana provides that the child capable of living, which is born before the one hundred and eightieth day after the marriage, is not presumed to be the child of the hushand; every child born alive more than six months after conception, is presumed to be capable of living. Art. 205. The same rule applies with respect to the child born three hundred days after the dissolution of the marriage, or after sentence of separation e and board. Art. 206. The Code Civil of France contains the following provision. The child conceived during the marriage, has the hushand for its father. Nevertheless the hushand may disavow the child, if he can prove that during the time that has elapsed between the three hundredth and the one hundred and eightieth before its birth he was prevented either by absence, or in consequence of some accident, or on account of some physical impossibility, from cohabiting with his wife. Art. 312. A child born before the one hundred and eightieth day after the marriage cannot be disavowed by the hushand in the following cases: - l. When he had knowledge of the pregnancy before the marriage; 2. When he has assisted in writing the act of birth, [a certificate stating the birth and sex of the child, the time when born, &c. required by law to be filed with a proper officer and recorded,] and when that act has been signed by him, or when it contains his declaration that he cannot sign;

3. When the child is not declared capable of living. Art. 314. And the legitimacy of a child born three hundred days after the dissolution of the marriage may be contested. Art. 315.

PREGNANT, pleading. A fulness in the pleadings which admits or involves a matter which is favorable to the opposite party. 2. It is either an affirmative pregnant, or negative pregnant. See Affirmative pregnant; Negative pregnant.

PREJUDICE. To decide beforehand; to lean in favor of one side of a cause for some reason or other than its justice.

2. A judge ought to be without prejudice, and he cannot therefore sit in a case where he has any interest, or when a near relation is a partt, or where he has been of counsel for one of the parties. Vide Judge.

3. In the civil law prejudice signifies a tort or injury; as the act of one man should never prejudice another. Dig. 60, 17, 74.

PRELATE. The name of an ecclesiastical officer. There are two orders of prelates; the first is composed of bishops, and the second, of abbots, generals of orders, deans, &c.;

PRELEVEMENT, French law. The portion which a partner is entitled to take out of the assets of a firm before any sion shall be made of the remainder of the assets, between the partners.

2. The partner who is entitled to a prelevement is not a creditor of the partnership; on the contrary he is a part owner for if the assets should be deficient, a creditor has a preference over the partner; on the other hand, should the assets yield any profit, the partner is entitled to his portion of it, whereas the creditor is entitled to no part of it, but he has a right to charge interest, when he is in other respects entitled to it.

PREHENSION. The lawful taking of a thing with an intent to, assert a right in it.

PRELIMINARY. Something which precedes, as preliminaries of peace, which are the first sketch of a treaty, and contain the principal articles on which both parties are desirous of concluding, and which are to serve as the basis of the treaty.

PREMEDITATION. A design formed to commit a crime or to do some other thing before it is done.

2. Premeditation differs essentially from will, which constitutes the crime, because it supposes besides an actual will, a deliberation and a continued persistance which indicate more perversity. The preparation of arms or other instruments required for the execution of the crime, are indications of a premeditation, but are not absolute proof of it, as these preparations may have been intended for other purposes, and then suddenly changed to the performance of the criminal act. Murder by poisoning must of necessity be done with premeditation. See Aforethought; Murder.

PREMISES. that which is put before. The word has several significations; sometimes it means the statements which have been before made; as, I act upon these premises; in this sense, this word may comprise a variety of subjects, having no connexion among themselves; 1 East, R. 456; it signifies a formal part of a deed; and it is made to designate an estate.

PREMISES, estates. Lands and tenements are usually, called premises, when particularly spoken of; as, the premises will be sold without reserve. 1 East, R. 453.

PREMISES, conveyancing. That part in the beginning of a deed, in which are set forth the names of the parties, with their titles ana additions, and in which are recited such deeds, agreements, or matters of fact, as are necessary to explain the reasons upon which the contract then entered into is founded; and it is here also the consideration on which it is made, is set down, and the certainty of the thing granted. 2 Bl. Com. 298. The technical meaning of the premises in a deed, is every thing which precedes the habendum. 8 Mass. R. 174; 6 Conn. R. 289. Vide Deed.

PREMISES, equity pleading. That part of a bill usually denominated the stating part of the bill. It contains a narrative of the facts and circumstances of the plaintiff's case, and the wrongs of which he complains, and the names of the persons by whom done, and against whom he seeks redress. Coop. Eq. Pl..9; Bart. Suit in equity, 27; Mitf. Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 43; Story, Eq. Pl. 27; 4 Bouv, Inst. n. 4158.

PREMIUM, contracts. The consideration paid by the insured to the insurer for making an insurance. It is so called because it is paid primo, or before the contract shall take effect. Poth. h. t. n. 81; Marah. Inst. 234.

2. In practice, however, the premium is not always paid when the policy is underwritten; for insurances are frequently effected by brokers, and open accounts are kept between them and the underwriters, in which they make themselves debtors for all premiums;, and sometimes notes or bills are given for the amount of the premium.

3. The French writers, when they speak of the consideration given for maritime loans, employ a variety of words in order to distinguish it according to the nature of the case. Thus, they call it interest when it is stipulated to be paid by the month or at other stated periods. It is a premium, when a gross sum is to be paid at the end of a voyage, and here the risk is the principal object which they have in view. When the sum is a percentage on the money lent, they denominate it exchange, considering it in the light of money lent in one place to be returned in another, with a difference in amount between the sum borrowed and that which is paid, arising from the difference of time and place. When they intend to combine these various shades into one general denomination, they make use of the term maritime profit, to convey their meaning. Hall on Mar. Loans, 56, n. Vide Park, Ills. h. t. Poth. h. t.; 3 Kent, Com. 285; 15 East, R. 309, Day's note, and the cases there cited.

PREMIUM PUDICITIAE, contracts. Literally the price of chastity.

2. This is the consideration of a contract by which a man promises to pay to a woman with whom he has illicit intercourse a certain sum of money. When the contract is made as the payment of past cohabitation, as between the parties, it is good, and will be enforced against the obligor, his heirs, executors and administrators, but it cannot be paid, on a deficiency of assets, until all cred itors are paid, though it has a preference over the heir, next of kin, or devisee. If the contract be for future cohabitation, it is void. Chit. Contr. 215; 1 Story, Eq. Jur. 296; 5 Ves. 286; 2 P. Wms. 432; 1 Black. R. 517; 3 Burr. 1568; 1 Fonbl. Eq, B. 1, a. 4, 4, and notes s and y; 1 Ball & Beat. 360; 7 Ves. 470; 11 Ves. 535; Rob. Fraud. Conv. 428; Cas. Temp. Talb. 153; and the cases there cited; 6 Ham. R. 21; 5 Cowen, R. 253; Harper, R. 201; 3 Mont. R. 35; 2 Rev. Const. Ct; 279; 11 Mass. R. 368; 2 N. & M. 251.

PRENDER or PRENDRE. To take. This word is used to signify the right of taking a thing before it is offered,; hence the phrase of law, it lies in render, but not in prender. Vide A prendre; and Gale and Whatley on Easements, 1.

PROENOMEN. The first or Christian name of a person; Benjamin is the proenomen of Benjamin Franklin. See Cas. temp. Hard. 286; 1 Tayl. 148.

PREPENSE. The same as aforethought. (q. v.) Vide 2 Chit. Cr. Law, *784.

PREROGATIVE, civil law. The privilege, preeminence, or advantage which one person has over another; thus a person vested with an office, is entitled to all the rights, privileges, prerogatives, &c. which belong to it.

PREROGATIVE, English law. The royal prerogative is an arbitrary power vested in the executive to do good and not evil. Rutherf. Inst. 279; Co. Litt. 90; Chit. on Prerog.; Bac. Ab. h. t.

PREROGATIVE COURT, eccles. law. The name of a court in England in which all testaments are proved and administrations granted, when the deceased has left bona notabilia in the province in some other diocese than that in which he died. 4 Inst. 335.

2. The testamentary courts of the two archbishops, in their respective provinces, are styled prerogative courts, from the prerogative of each archbishop to grant probates and administrations, where there are bona, notabilia; but still these are only inferior and subordinate jurisdictions; and the style of these courts has no connexion with the royal prerogative. Derivatively, these courts are the king's ecclesiastical courts; but immediately, they are only the courts of the ecclesiastical ordinary. The ordinary, and not the crown, appoints the judges of these courts; they are subject to the control of the king's courts of chancery and common law, in case they exceed their jurisdiction; and they are subject in some instances to the command of these courts, if they decline to exercise their jurisdiction, when by law they ought to exercise it. Per Sir John Nicholl, In the Goods of George III.; 1 Addams, R. 265; S. C. 2 Eng. Eccl. R. 112.

PRESCRIPTIBLE. That which is subject to prescription.

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