An audit of foeticide, neonaticide and infanticide: A retrospective study in the Department of Forensic Medicine, King Edward Medical University, Lahore

Medico-Legal Journal, Ahead of Print.
The deliberate killing of a foetus in the womb, or a child from the first 24 h of birth to one month of age, or within the first year of life, is called foeticide, neonaticide and infanticide, respectively. Socioeconomic stress, mental illness, gender selection, shame or fear of punishment of adultery or illegitimacy, grudge and jealousy with parents and negligent delivery by dai are major causative factors in such cases. This is a retrospective, descriptive, observational study, and the sample pool consisted of 35 cases. Foeticide cases were 42.9% of the total and the same percentage of cases were neonaticides, while 14.3% of cases were of infanticide. The male-to-female ratio was 1.26:1 and the major cause of death was head injury. The study shows a prevalence of foeticide and neonaticide as compared to infanticide. It also displays the prevalence of males in overall cases and a higher number of unknown cases in our setting.

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