Idiocy


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IDIOCY, med. jur. That condition of mind, in which the reflective, or all or a part of the affective powers, are either entirely wanting, or are manifested to the least possible extent.
     2. Idiocy generally depends upon organic defects. The most striking physical trait, and one seldom wanting, is the diminutive size of the head, particularly of the anterior superior portions, indicating a deficiency of the anterior lobes of the brain. According to Gall, whose observations on this subject are entitled to great consideration, its circumference, measured immediately over the orbiter arch, and the most prominent part of the occipital bone, is between 11« and 14« inches. Gall, sur les Fonctions, p. 329. In the intelligent adult, it usually measures from 21 to 22 inches. Chit. Med. Jur. 248. See, on this subject, the learned work of Dr. Morton, of Philadelphia*, entitled Crania Americana. The brain of an idiot equals that of a new born infant; that is, about one-fourth, one-fifth, or one- sixth of the cerebral mass of an adult's in the enjoyment of his faculties. The above is the only constant character. observed in the heads of idiots. In other respects their forms are as various as those of other persons. When idiocy supervenes in early infancy, the head is sometime remarkable for immense size. This unnatural enlargement arises from some kind of morbid action preventing the development of the cerebral mass, and producing serous cysts, dropsical effusions, and the like.
     3. In idiocy the features are irregular; the forehead low, retreating, and narrowed to a point; the eyes are unsteady, and often squint the lips are. thick, and the mouth is generally open; the gums are spongy, and the teeth are defective; the limbs are crooked and feeble. The senses are usually entirely wanting; many are deaf and dumb, or blind and others are incapable of perceiving odors, and show little or no discrimination in their food for want of taste. Their movements are constrained and awkward, they walk badly, and easily fall, and are not less awkward with their hands, dropping generally what is given to them. They are seldom able to articulate beyond a few sounds. They are generally affected with rickets, epilepsy, scrofula, or paralysis. Its subjects seldom live beyond the twenty-fifth year, and are incurable, as there is natural deformity which cannot be remedied. Vide Chit. Med. Jur. 345; Ray's Med. Jur. c. 2; 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 571 Shelf. on Lun. Index, h.t.; and Idiot.

References in classic literature ?
Same thing as we used to call idiocy fifty years ago.
For the rest, he thought the dialectical part of his argument of little worth; he saw only too clearly that the result of these ecstatic moments was stupefaction, mental darkness, idiocy.
All the more did the affairs of the great world interest her, when communicated in the letters of high-born relations: the way in which fascinating younger sons had gone to the dogs by marrying their mistresses; the fine old-blooded idiocy of young Lord Tapir, and the furious gouty humors of old Lord Megatherium; the exact crossing of genealogies which had brought a coronet into a new branch and widened the relations of scandal,--these were topics of which she retained details with the utmost accuracy, and reproduced them in an excellent pickle of epigrams, which she herself enjoyed the more because she believed as unquestionably in birth and no-birth as she did in game and vermin.
The sudden uncontrolled rage and now the equally uncontrolled and mirthless laughter but emphasized the facial attributes of idiocy.
idiocy of infancy and the folly of youth -- two removes from the sin
Similarly, joint work in the fields of law and psychology will help judges apply idiocy protections today (again, simply as a constitutional floor--not replacing the evolving standards of decency).
award (Political Idiocy Shown Here) goes to the Government quangos that have recruited more than 4500 employees since the coalition came to power.
To make the idiocy even bigger, the Ministry of Interior will submit the footages to the international representatives so they can alone judge the incident.
THE inane gibberish of D Cox (Voice of the North, January 24) is absolutely typical of the attitude of anti-hunting idiocy.
This type of public sector idiocy merely serves to turn people like myself incandescent with rage.
If he is a true fan - and he was a season ticket holder - he will now have many soccer-free Saturdays to contemplate his idiocy.
Asinaria reveals Roman social relations of thousands of years ago a s revolving around many types of slavery: to sex, money, family structure, social standing, masculinity, partying, lies and idiocy.