What is Synonyms?

Lunacy, at the common law, was a term used to describe the state of one who, by sickness, grief, or other accident, has wholly lost his memory and understanding. Co. Litt 2406, 247a; Com. v. Haskell, 2 Brewst (Pa.) 490. It is distinguished from idiocy, an idiot being one who from his birth has had no memory or understanding, while lunacy implies the possession and subsequent loss of mental powers. Bicknell v. Spear, 38 Misc. Rep. 3S9, 77 N. T. Supp. 920. On the other hand, luuacy is a total deprivation or suspension of the or- dinary powers of the mind, and Is to be distinguished from imbecility, where there is a more or less advanced decay and feebleness of the intellectual faculties. Iu re Vanaukeu, 10 N. J. Eq. 180, 195; Odell v. Buck, 21 Wend. (N. Y.) 142. As to all other forms of insanity, lunacy was originally distinguished by the occurrence of lucid intervals, and hence might be described as a periodical or recurrent insanity. In re Anderson, 132 N. C. 243, 43 S. E. 049; Hiett v. Shull, 3(5 W. Va. 503, 15 S. E. 140. But while these distinctions are still observed in some jurisdictions, they are more generally disregarded; so that, at present, in inquisitions of lunacy and other such proceedings, the term “lunacy” has almost everywhere come to be synonymous with “insanity,” and is used as a general description of all forms of derangement or mental unsouuduess, this rule being established by statute in many states and by judicial decisions in others. In re Clark, 175 N. Y. 139, 07 N. I’i 212; Smith v. Hickenbot- tom, 57 Iowa, 733, 11 N. W. 004; Casou v. Owens, 100 Ga. 142, 28 S. E. 75; In re Ilill, 31 N. J. Eq. 203. Cases of arrested mental development would come within the definition of lunacy, that is, where the patient was born with a normal brain,,but the cessation of mental growth occurred in infancy or so near it that he never acquired auy greater intelligence or discretion than belongs to a normally healthy child. Such a subject might be scientifically denominated an “idiot,” but not legally, for in law the latter term is applicable only to congenital amentia. The term “lucid interval” means not an apparent tranquility or seeming repose, or cessation of the violent symptoms of the disorder, or a simple diminution or remission of the disease, but a temporary cure

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