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October 28, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(18):1109-1110. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450700053017

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The judge's charge, in a recent trial for damages in a New Jersey court—see Journal's news items, last week —and the subsequent finding of the jury, raise, or at least suggest, an interesting psychologic question. A man was struck, it is alleged, by a fallen electric wire during a thunder storm, and received apparently a severe electric shock, with the result of producing a peculiar condition of what was claimed to be a sort of hypnotic suggestibility in which he is uncertain as to his own sensations and only feels what he is told he feels. According to the contention of the defense, as stated in the newspaper accounts, he is never certain when he is in pain, but has to depend on others to know whether he has headaches, his shoe pinches, or he has cramps; in other words, he only feels pain when he imagines or is led

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