Page:Black's Law Dictionary (Second Edition).djvu/640

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INSANITY

Y. Supp. 920. On the other hand, lunacy is a total deprivation or suspension of the ordinary powers of the mind, and is to be distinguished from imbeclhty, where there is a more or less advanced decay and feebleuess of the intellectual faculties. In ie Vanauken, 10 N. J. Eq. 1.36, 195; Odell v. Buck, 21 Wend. (N. Y.) 142. As to all other forms of insanity, lunacy was originally distinguished by the occurrence of lucid intervals, and hence might be described as a periodical or iecurrent insanity. In re Anderson, 132 N. G. 2-13. 43 S. E. (H9; Hiett v. Shnll. 36 W. Va. 563. 15 S. E. 146. But while these distinctions are still observed in some jurisdictions, they are more generally disregarded; so that. at present, in inquisitions of lunacy and other such proceedings, the term “lunacy" has almost everywhere come to be syn- onymous with "insanity," and is used as a general description of all forms of derangement or mental unsonndness, this rule being established by statute in many states and by judicial decisions in others. In re Ciflfii, 175 N. Y. 130, 67 N. E 212; Smith v. Hir.'i:enbottom, 57 Iowa, 733, 11 N. W. 664; Cason V. Owens. 100 Ga. 142. 28 S. E. 75; In re Hill, 31 N. .1. E11. 203. Cnses of arrested mental development would come within the definition of lunacy, that is, where the patient was hon: “ltil a nnrmal brain, but the cessation of mental growth occurred in infancy or so near it that he never acquired any greater intelligence or discretion than belongs to a normally healthy child. Such a suivject might be scientifically denominated an “idiot," but not legally, for in law the latter term is applicable only to congenital amentla. The term “lncid interval" means not an apparent tianquliity or seeming repose, or cessation of the Violent symptoms of the disorder, or a simple diminution or remission of the disease, but a temporary cure—an intermission so clearly marked that it perfectiy resembles a return 01! health; and it must be such a restoration of the faculties as enables the patient beyond doubt to comprehend the nature of his acts and transact his adairs as usual; and it must be continued for a length of time sufficient to give certainty to the temporary restoration of reason. GDddl‘l\ v. Burke. 35 La. Ann. 160. 173; Ri(i{(‘tt‘S v. Jollff. 6'2 Miss. -1-i0; Ekln v. Mc- C'i"1(‘l\eI'i. 11 ['illi‘l. (l’a.) 5'34; Frazer v. Fraz- er. 2 Del. Ch. 200.

Idincy is congenital amentia, thai is. a want of reason and intelligence existing from mirth and due to structural defect or mal- formation of the brain. It is a congenital obliteration of the chief mental powers, and is defined in law as that condition in which the patient has never had, from his birth, eren the least glimmering or reason; for a man is not legally an “idiot" if he can tell his parents. his age, or other like common matters. This is not the condition of a deranged mind, but that of a total absence of mind, so that, while idiocy is generally

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INSANITY

classed under the general designation of "insanity," it is rather to be regarded as a natural detect than as a disease or as the re snlt of a disease. It diiifers from "lunacy," because there are no lucid intervals or periods of ordinary intelligence See in re Beaumont, 1 Wharf. (Pa.) 53. 29 Am. Duo: 33; Clark \'. Robinson, 83 Ill. 502: Cl'0.‘=\\«li V. People, 13 i\iiLil. 4 i, 87 Am. Dec. 7?-l; Hlctt v. Shull, 30 W. Va. 503. 15 S. E. 14!} Thompson v. Thompson, 21 Barb. (N. Y.) 1115: In re Owings, 1 Bland (Md) 381;, 17 Am. Dec. 311; Francke v. His Wife, 29 La. Ann. 304; Hall v. Unger, 11 Fed. Cns. 261; l3n.k- neli v. Spear, 38 Misc. Rep. 389. Ti‘ N. Y. Supp. 920. Imbeuility. decay and feehleness of the intellectual facul- ties; that wealmess of mind which, without depriving the person entirely oi! the use of his reason, leaves only the faculty of cacneiving the most common and ordinary ideas and such as relate almost always to physical wants and habits. It varies in shades and degrees from merely excessive folly and eccentricity to an ahnost totsl vacuity or mind or ainentla, and the test of legal capacity. in this condition, is the stage to which the weakness or mind has advanced, as measured by the degree of reason, judgment, and memory remaining. It may proceed from paresis or general paralysis. from senile decay, or from the advanced stages of any of the ordinary forms of insanity; and the term is rather descriptive of the consequecnes of insanity than of any particular type of the disease. See Calderon v. Martin, 50 La. Ann. 1153. 23 South. 909; Delafieid v. Parish, 1 Redf. (N. Y.) 115; Campbell v. Camp- bell. 130 Ill. 4613. 22 N. E. 620, 6 L. R. A. 167; Messenger v. Blis, 35 Ohio St. ::.i2.

Non compo: mantis. Lat. Not of sound mind. A generic term applicable to all insane persons, of whatsoever specific type the insanity may be and from Whatever cause arising, provided there be an entire loss of reason, as distinguished from mere weakness of mind. Somers v. Pumphrey. 24 Ind. 244; In re Beaumont, 1 Whnrt. (l"a.) 53: Burnham v. Mitchell, 34 Wis. 136; Dennrtt V. Dennett, 44 N. H. 537, 84 Am. Dec. 97: Polls V. House, 6 Ga. 350, 50 Am. Dec. 329: Jack- son v. King. 4 Cow. (N. Y.) 207. 15 Am. llcc. I5-i: Stanton v. Wetherwax, 16 Barb. (N. Y.) 262.

Derangement. This term includes all forms of mental nusoundness. except of the natural born idiot. Hiett v. Sliull, 36 W. Va. 563. 15 S. E. 147.

Delusion is sometimes loosely used as syn- onymous with insanity. But this is incorrect. Delusion is not the substance but the evidence of insanity. The presence of an insane delusion is a recognized test of insanity in all cases except amentia and imbecility, and where there 1.‘! no frenzy or nuing mad-

A more or less advanced '