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August 2, 1890

SOME NEW MEDICO-LEGAL QUESTIONS RELATING TO INEBRIETY.Read in the Section of State Medicine at the Forty-first Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, held at Nashville, Tenn., May, 1890.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1890;XV(5):161-164. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410310001001

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Eighteen centuries ago, Ulpian, the Roman Jurist wrote, "A man full of wine can neither see, hear, feel, or reason correctly."

Recently Dr. T. E. Wright has stated this fact, and urged that the testimony of inebriates, while under the influence of spirits as to matters observed in that state, must never be accepted as true unless confirmed by other evidence.

The common opinion prevalent is, that the inebriate unless stupidly intoxicated, has all his usual acuteness of perceptions and judgment, and in most cases may be more clear and accurateas to events and the consequence of his acts, than if sober.

The law assumes and implies that the inebriate is always conscious of his acts and the consequences, and whatever the stupor may be which follows from intoxication, its short duration and uncertainty cannot affect the question of responsibility. This view has no support from scientific study and

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