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By Milton Erickson, Jay Haley

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T h e Percy Commission^ came to the conclusion in 1954 that most doctors were unwilling to diagnose a patient as a moral imbecile unless his behaviour was accompanied by some limitation * M e n t a l Deficiency Act, 1927, Section 1. t The Royal Commission on Mental Illness and Mental ( C m n d . 169), p. 57. Deficiency, 1954-57 LIBERTY, LIABILITY, CULPABILITY 37 of intelligence. Although, strictly speaking, neither the 1913 nor the 1927 definitions had said anything about "intelligence", this interpretation was understandable, for the scientific measurement of intelligence which had been popularized by educational psychologists had begun to influence not only popular notions of mental defect, but also psychiatric diagnoses.

As before, people who came within the definition could be compelled to enter hospital (or guardianship) either by means of a civil procedure (which no longer required a judicial authority) or as result of a criminal prosecution. But there were important differences. The definition of psychopathic disorder was so wide that it might well include persons who, once they had reached adulthood, could live their own lives without doing any serious harm. Consequently, while teenage psychopaths could be dealt with under either civil or criminal procedures, once the psychopath reached the age of 21 he could be dealt with only under criminal procedure; and even those who had been compelled to enter hospital or guardianship 38 PSYCHOPATHIC DISORDERS before that age under civil procedure could not be kept after the age of 25 without special justification.

Campbell also claimed that she had lent the baby's m o t h e r both m o n e y and clothes w h i c h had never been returned, so had killed the baby to spite the mother. D e f e n c e . . t The defence was successful, and she was sentenced to life imprisonment. Later in that year, another attempt to base a defence on a diagnosis of psychopathy was less successful. M. Advocate v. Cunningham [1963] 45 S . L . T . at p. 345. y t S e e , for example, Carraher s Case (1951 : The Trials of Patrick Carraher, ed.

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