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DELIRIUM Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

In medical jurisprudence. Delirium is that state of the mind in which it acts without being directed by the power of volition, which is wholly or partially suspended.This happens most perfectly in dreams. But what is commonly called “delirium”is always preceded or attended by a feverish and highly diseased state of the body. The patient in delirium is wholly unconscious of surrounding objects or conceives them to be different from what they really are. His thoughts seem to drift about, wild- ering and tossing amidst distracted dreams.And his observations, when he makes any, as often happens, are wild and incoherent;or, from excess of pain, he sinks into a low muttering, or silent and death-like stupor.The law contemplates this species of mental derangement as an intellectual eclipse; as a darkness occasioned by a cloud of disease passing over the mind; and which must soon terminate in health or in death. Owing’s Case, 1 lilaud (Md.) 380, 17 Am. Dec. 311; Supreme Lodge v. Lapp, 74 S. V. 050, 25 Ky. Law Rep. 74; Clark v. Ellis, 9 Or. 132; Brogden v. Brown, 2 Add. 441.


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