Foetus, * med. jur. The unborn child. The name of embryo is sometimes given to it; but, although the terms are occasionally used indiscriminately, the latter is more frequently employed to designate the state of an unborn child during the first three months after conception, and by some until quickening. A foetus is sometimes described by the uncouth phrase of infant in ventre sa mere.

2. It is sometimes of great importance, particularly in criminal law, to ascertain the age of the foetus, or how far it has progressed towards maturity. There are certain signs which furnish evidence on this subject, the principal of which are, the size and weight, and the formation of certain parts as the cartilages, bones, &c. These are not always the same, much of course must depend upon the constitution and health of the mother, and other circumstances which have an influence on the foetus. The average length and weight of the foetus at different periods of gestation, as deduced by Doctor Beck, from various observers, as found by Maygrier, is here given.

		ȸ¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸®¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸®¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸®¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸®¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸Ø
		- - Beck. - Maygrier. - Beck. - Maygrier. - -
		ý¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸ƒ¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸ƒ¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸ƒ¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸¸*
		- - Length. - Weight. - -
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		-30 days. -3 to 5 lines. -10 to 12 lines.- -9 to 10 grains.- - 2 Months -2
		inches -4 inches. -2 ounces. -5 drachms. - - 3 do. -3€ inches. -6 inches.
		-2 to 3 ounces. -2€ ounces. - - 4 do. -5 to 6 inches.-8 inches. -4 to 6
		ounces. -7 to 8 ounces. - - 5 do. -7 to 9 inches -10 inches. -9 to 10 ounces.
		-16 ounces. - - 6 do. -9 to 12 inches-12 inches. -1 to 2 pounds. -2 pounds. - -
		7 do. -12 to 14 inches.-14 inches. -2 to 3 pounds. -3 pounds. - - 8 do. -16
		inches. -16 inches. -3 to 4 pounds. -4 pounds. -
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3. The discordance apparent between them proves that the observations which have been made, are only an approximation to truth.

4. It is proper to remark that the Paris pound poids de marc, which was the weight used by Maygrier, differs from avoirdupois weight used by Dr. Beck. The pouud poids de marc, of sixteen ounces, contains 9216 Paris grains, whilst the avoirdupois contains only 8532.5 Paris grains. The Paris inch is 1.065977 English inch. Vide, generally, 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 239; 2 Dunglison's Human Physiology, 391; Ryauls Med. Jur. 137; 1 Chit. Med. Jur. 403; I Briand, Med. Leg. prem. partie, c. 4, art. 2; and the articles Birth; Dead Born; Foeticide; In ventre sa mere; infanticide; Life; and Quick with child.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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