Insanity as a consequence of an epileptic seizure and precautionary measures
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Klinika Psychiatrii Sądowej, Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Submission date: 2022-08-01
Final revision date: 2022-09-10
Acceptance date: 2022-09-20
Online publication date: 2024-04-30
Publication date: 2024-04-30
Corresponding author
Przemysław Cynkier   

Klinika Psychiatrii Sądowej, Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Psychiatr Pol 2024;58(2):303-313
The analysis covers the case of a driver suffering from epilepsy for many years, who during an epileptic seizure, in a state of profound disturbance of consciousness, caused a road accident. Such situations usually result in the perpetrator being considered insane in relation to the allegation. The task of expert psychiatrists and psychologists is then to assess the likelihood of the perpetrator of the prohibited act repeating it, and to indicate to the court the optimal therapeutic precautionary or penal measure. These legal solutions also apply to perpetrators who were considered insane due to disturbances of consciousness occurring in the course of various somatic diseases, and not permanent mental disorders. Currently, there are no grounds for appointing expert neurologists, diabetologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, and other specialists who would assess the legitimacy of taking precautionary measures, which may raise judicial doubts. Moreover, applying in such cases only the measures indicated in Article 93a § 1 of the Penal Code does not find any psychiatric and psychological justification. Consideration should be given to extending the catalog of protective measures to include the therapy of various somatic diseases in order to minimize the risk of developing deep mental disorders in the future. The work proposes new opinion-making solutions, which, however, requires changes in legal regulations.
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