This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
The mental state of the puerperal female has not received the attention its forensic importance merits from lawyers and physicians, owing to the erroneous lay opinion, shared by many members of the medical and legal professions, that pregnancy is now, what it once was in the history of the race, a normal physiological process.
Pregnancy, if regarded in this light, stands alone, since no other physiological function presents the pathological phenomena: pulmonary, cardiac, gastric, renal, cystic, nervous and other disturbances characteristic of pregnancy. Even "labor," that terminates pregnancy, is characterized by the pathological phenomenon "pain." It is illogical to speak of a condition in which pain is present as a physiological state. Pregnancy unattended by pathological phenomena is the rare exception, so rare that it may well be doubted whether these cases are properly observed, since too little attention is paid to nervous and mental phenomena that do not reach
ALEXANDER HCB. FORENSIC RELATIONS OF THE PUERPERAL MENTAL STATE. Read in the Section on Medical Jurisprudence, at the Thirty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1887. JAMA. 1887;IX(25):777–779. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400240009001d
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: