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n. the male's inability to copulate. Impotence can be grounds for annulment of a marriage if the condition existed at the time of the marriage and grounds for divorce whenever it occurs under the laws of 26 states. It should not be confused with sterility, which means inability to produce children.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

IMPOTENCE, med. jur. The incapacity for copulation or propagating the species. It has also been used synonymously with sterility.
     2. Impotence may be considered as incurable, curable, accidental or temporary. Absolute or incurable impotence, is that for which there is no known relief, principally originating in some malformation or defect of the genital organs. Where this defect existed at the time of the marriage, and was incurable, by the ecclesiastical law and the law of several of the American states, the marriage may be declared void ab initio. Com. Dig. Baron and Feme, C 3; Bac. Ab. Marriage, &c., E 3; 1 Bl. Com. 440; Beck's Med. Jur. 67; Code, lib. 5, t. 17, l. 10; Poyn. on Marr. and Div. ch. 8; 5 Paige, 554; Merl. Rep. mot Impuissance. But it seems the party naturally impotent cannot allege that fact for the purpose of obtaining a divorce. 3 Phillim. R. 147; S. C. 1 Eng. Eccl. R. 384. See 3 Phillim. R. 325; S. C. 1 Eng. Eccl. R. 408; 1 Chit. Med. Jur. 877; 1 Par. & Fonb. 172, 173. note d; Ryan's Med. Jur. 95. to 111; 1 Bl. Com. 440; 2 Phillim. R. 10; 1 Hagg. R. 725. See, as to the signs of impotence, 1 Briand, Med. Leg. c. 2, art. 2, Sec. 2, n. 1; Dictionnaire des Sciences Medicales, art. Impuissance; and, generally, Trebuchet, Jur. de la. Med. 100, 101, 102; 1 State Tr. 315; 8 State Tr. App. No. 1, p. 23; 3 Phillm. R. 147; 1 Hagg. Eccl. R. 523; Fodere, Med. Leg. Sec. 237.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The special investigation unit was set up to stop the anti-impotence drug being sold by dealers who have absolutely no medical training.
The new anti-impotence drug Viagra could well be on pharmacists' shelves around the Community within three months or so, following a positive assessment of the drug's active ingredient - sildenafil citrate - from the EU's Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (CPMP).
But after he was given the anti-impotence drug, which opened up the blood vessels in his lungs, his condition improved.
THE US government has warned that the anti-impotence drug Viagra could make you go blind.
The US government warned the anti-impotence drug Viagra could make some men go blind.
Researchers from Queen's University in Belfast told the British Fertility Society's annual conference in Cheltenham yesterday they have carried out laboratory experiments which indicate the anti-impotence drug can damage sperm.
Police have arrested two men and raided 13 company offices Wednesday in connection with an unauthorized advertisement on the Internet for the anti-impotence drug Viagra.
One so-called cyber doctor supplied the anti-impotence drug Viagra to a man who had a heart condition and for whom the drug could have been potentially fatal.
KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 Kyodo The Malaysian government has approved sales of Viagra, the much-touted anti-impotence drug, the official news agency Bernama reported Thursday.
(The campany has announced it has filed for a nasal spray version of the anti-impotence drug.)
VIAGRA, the anti-impotence drug, has been linked with five deaths in the UK in the past six months.
But as soon as we mentioned we wanted a large quantity of the anti-impotence drug, his eyes lit up and he said: 'I can help you but I need to get to know you first.