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July 1, 1922


JAMA. 1922;79(1):53-54. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640010057025

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Imbecility in Its Clinical and Medicolegal Aspects  At a recent meeting of the Medical Society of Bucharest, Dr. Popescu read a paper on imbecility in its clinical and medicolegal aspects. He considered that particular form of imbecility described as moral insanity or moral imbecility. The symptoms to which he assigned the foremost place were lack of discretion, absolute incapacity for being influenced, strong criminal propensity traceable even to childhood, lifelong instability and restlessness, aversion to useful employment, unsociableness, exaggerated self-esteem, excessive fancifulness, vanity, egotism, complete want of ethical ideas and impulses, absolute unconsciousness of justice and morality, and a great many bodily signs of degeneration. Heredity had something to do with the development of these defects. Observations extending over many years had convinced Dr. Popescu that the ethical imperfections enumerated in this list and the criminal acts arising from them were the results of mental incapacity dating from the earliest

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