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MISCARRIAGE, med. jurisp. By this word is technically understood the expulsion of the ovum or embryo from the uterus within the first six weeks after conception; between that time and before the expiration of the sixth month, when the child may possibly live, it is termed abortion. When the delivery takes place soon after the sixth month, it is denominated premature labor. But the criminal act of destroying the foetus at any time before birth, is termed in law, procuring miscarriage. Chit. Med. Jur. 410; 2 Dunglison's Human Physiology, 364. Vide Abortion; Foetus.
MISCARRIAGE, contracts, torts. By the English statute of frauds, 29, C. II., c. 3, s. 4, it is enacted that "no action shall be brought to charge the defendant upon any special promise to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another person, unless the agreement," &c. "shall be in writing," &c. The word miscarriage, in this statute comprehends that species of wrongful act, for the consequences of which the law would make the party civilly responsible. The wrongful riding the horse of another, without his leave or license, and thereby causing his death, is clearly an act for which the party is responsible in damages, and therefore, falls within the meaning of the word miscarriage. 2 Barn. & Ald. 516; Burge on Sur. 21.