The only source I could find for a definition of this phrase was Wikipedia, which states a mortal wound "leads directly to the death of the victim. Death need not be instantaneous, but follows soon after." The rest of the article seems like speculation.
The crux of my question is these two points:
- Must a mortal wound lead to death?
- Is declaring that something is a mortal wound equivalent to saying that death is certain and unavoidable in the present situation?
For example, if a wound is bad enough that the victim will bleed out unless he receives appropriate medical attention immediately, is the wound a mortal wound? Could the same wound be a mortal wound in one situation and not in another, depending on whether such attention is available? That is, does a mortal wound describe the wound itself, or the result of that wound?