SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.44 número2The legal validity of an advance refusal of medical treatment in South African law (Part 2)Some thoughts on state regulation of South African insolvency law índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados

Artigo

Indicadores

Links relacionados

  • Em processo de indexaçãoCitado por Google
  • Em processo de indexaçãoSimilares em Google

Compartilhar


De Jure

versão On-line ISSN 2225-7160
versão impressa ISSN 1466-3597

De Jure (Pretoria) vol.44 no.2 Pretoria  2011

 

ARTICLES

 

Forget me not: Thoughts on the crossroads between law and medicine in assessing claims of amnesia

 

Vergeet-my-nie: Gedagtes oor die wisselwerking tussen die reg en die mediese wetenskappe by die beoordeling van geheueverlies

 

 

Philip Stevens

LLB LLM LLD Advocate of the High Court of South Africa Member of the Pretoria Bar

 

 


OPSOMMING

Geestesdeskundiges word op 'n gereelde basis gebruik om strafbare optrede te rekonstrueer. Een van die groot struikelblokke wat geestesdeskundiges in die gesig staar tydens die assesseringsfase hou verband met die geval waar die beskuldigde beweer dat hy of sy aan geheueverlies ly, hetsy van 'n tydelike- of permanente aard. Die bewering van amnesie, oftewel geheueverlies, lewer 'n uitdaging vir sowel die forensiese geestesdeskundige wat strewe daarna om sover moontlik aan juridiese standaarde te voldoen ten aansien van die lewering van 'n opinie, as vir regsgeleerdes wat hul sake tot die beste van hulle vermoë moet voordra. Een van die struikelblokke tydens die assessering van amnesie hou verband met die beoordeling van die waarheid of egtheid daarvan en dus om ware amnesie te onderskei van gesimuleerde amnesie. Hierdie artikel verskaf 'n oorsig rakende die aard van amnesie, die belangrikste oorsake daarvan asook die juridiese benadering tot amnesia, geskets teen die agtergrond van die wisselwerking tussen die reg en die mediese wetenskappe by die beoodeling van amnesie.


 

 

“Full text available only in PDF format”

 

 

1 Ford Lies! Lies!! Lies!!! The Psychology of Deceit (1996) 1 78. 273
2 Ellis "'Emotional stress' - 'n nuwe handelingsuitsluitingsgrond" 1986 De Jure 348;         [ Links ] Kaliski "The criminal defendant" in Kaliski Psycholegal assessment in South Africa (2006) 108-109;         [ Links ] Van Rensburg & Verschoor, "Medies-geregtelike aspekte van amnesie" 1989 TRW 14 40-55;         [ Links ] Rubinsky & Brandt "Amnesia and Criminal Law: a clinical overview" 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27;         [ Links ] Rogers & Cavanaugh "Amnesia" 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law (Introductory Note to volume (4)) i;         [ Links ] Morse "Why Amnesia and the law is not a useful topic" 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 99;         [ Links ] Hoctor "Amnesia and criminal responsibility" 2000 SACJ 273;         [ Links ] Vorster An analysis of the amnesias with specific reference to 'non-pathological sane automatism' (PHD thesis 2002 University of the Witwatersrand).         [ Links ] See also Gillespie "Amnesia: competent functions in remembering" 1996 British Medical Journal1179-1183;         [ Links ] Lennox "Amnesia: real and feigned" 1943 American Journal of Psychiatry 732-743;         [ Links ] Lynch & Bradford "Amnesia: Its detection by Psychophysiological measures" 1980 American Academy of Psychiatry and La w 288-297.
3 24. See also Whitty & Zongwill Amnesia - Clinical, Psychological and Medicolegal Aspects (1977) 60; Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 274. According to Vorster (24), the following factors may affect each stage of the process: Registration - levels of arousal - any factors that could have a bearing on this relationship of importance of information to the self emotional state intelligence and filtering processes. Storage - structure and physiology of the brain. Retrieval - emotional factors arousal and all factors affecting this situation -specific associations Vorster notes that memories related to extreme emotion may sometimes be easily recalled but may also just as easily be erased.
4 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27 33; Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 274.
5 Sadock & Sadock Kaplan and Sadock s Synopsis of Psychiatry - Behavioural Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry (2003) 286.         [ Links ]
6 Kaplan & Sadock 286.
7 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 2733.
8 Hirst "The Amnesic Syndrome: Descriptions and Explanations" 1982 Psychological Bulletin 455-460;         [ Links ] Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law27 33.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid.
11 Schacter "On the Relation between Genuine and Simulated Amnesia" 1986 Behavioural Sciences and the Law 47 48 as discussed in Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 274-275.         [ Links ] See also Roesch & Golding "Amnesia and Competency to Stand Trial: A Review of Clinical and Legal Issues" 1986 Behavioural Sciences and the Law4.
12 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27 36.
13 Ibid. See also Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 275-278; Van Rensburg & Verschoor 50-54.
14 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27 36, Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 275.
15 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27 36, Hoctor
16 Ibid.
17 Ibid. See also Ryan & Butters "Cognitive Deficits in Alcoholics" in The Pathogenesis of Alcoholism(eds Kissen & Begeiter)(1983) 485-538.
18 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law27 37-38.
19 Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 275.
20 Van Rensburg & Verschoor 51; Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 275, See generally R v H 1962 (1) SA 197 (A) where the reliance on alcoholic amnesia coupled with automatism was unsuccessful.
21 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law27 38.
22 Van Rensburg & Verschoor (1989) 51. According to Van Rensburg and Verschoor "Grand Mal" seizures are associated with convulsions which can result injury on the part of the person suffering the seizure whereas "Petit Mal" seizures are fleeting moments of unconsciousness, which usually lasts a few seconds. See also Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 276.
23 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27 38; Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 276.
24 Ibid.
25 Ibid.
26 Van Rensburg & Verschoor (1989) 52.
27 Van Rensburg & Verschoor (1989) 52; Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 276.
28 Ibid.
29 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law27 38.
30 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27 39; Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 2 76. See also S v Cunningham 1996 1 SACR 631 (A) 639 B-C.
31 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27 39; Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 277. See also Watkins v People 158 Col 485 408P2d 425 1965 where the defence claimed that amnesia precluded the formation of criminal intent. The latter's claim was unsuccessful. Amnesia does not preclude a normal state of consciousness, intelligence and rational thought.
32 Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil (1 886) aphorism 68.
33 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27 41 ; Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 277; Van Rensburg & Verschoor 46. American Psychiatric Association "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' (1994) 477 (DSM-IV)
34 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27 41.
35 Ibid.
36 Vorster 28.
37 Van Rensburg & Verschoor 46.
38 DSM-IV 478.
39 Van Rensburg & Verschoor 47; Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 277.
40 Van Rensburg & Verschoor 47.
41 American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4 ed (1994) (DSM-IV).
42 DSM-IV 478; Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 278.
43 S v Henry 1991 1 SACR 13 (SCA). See also Le Roux "Strafregtelike
44 Ibid.
45 75 of 1969.
46 19 I-J.
47 20 C-I. See also S v McDonald 2000 2 SACR 493 (NPG) where a clinical psychologist for the State presented expert evidence to the effect that the appellant on account of the trauma surrounding the shooting which was the reason of the charge against the appellant, suffered from a state of retrograde dissociative amnesia - lacking the ability to recall matters after the event.
48 Ibid.
49 Ibid.
50 Ibid.
51 Ibid.
52 Ibid.
53 21A.
54 21B-C.
55 21D-F.
56 22B-C.
57 22H-I.
58 23E-F.
59 23E-G.
60 23F-G.
61 See Le Roux 2000 De Jure 190 192.
62 R v H 1962 1 SA 197 (A) 208B. See also S v Piccione 1967 2 SA 334 (N) 335C-D, S v T 1986 2 SA 112 (O) 124A-D where it was held that the accused's amnesia was not attributable to involuntary or unconscious behaviour, but rather the desire to avoid the unpleasant. See also Ellis 348.
63 Strauss Doctor, Patient and the Law (1991) 129; Ellis 348; S v Piccione 335C-D; R v Johnson 1970 2 SA 405 (R); Kaliski 108. See also Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland (1961) 3 A11 ER 523 (HL) 532G-H: "The term 'involuntary act' is, however, capable of wider connotations and to prevent confusion it is to be observed that in the criminal law an act is not to be regarded as an involuntary act simply because the doer does not remember it. When a man is charged with dangerous driving, it is no defence for him to say 'I don't know what happened, I cannot remember a thing' ... Loss of memory afterwards is never a defence in itself, so long as he was conscious at the time". See also S v Van Zyl 1964 2 SA 113 (A) 120; S v Cunningham 1996 1 SACR 631 (A) 635J-636A.
64 Rogers & Cavanaugh i.
65 S v Pederson 1998 (2) SACR 383 (NPD). See also Reddi "General Principles of Liability, Criminal Capacity, Sane Automatism" 1999 SACJ 87-91.         [ Links ]
66 390G.
67 390G-H.
68 397A-B.
69 396I-J.
70 396G-H.
71 Ibid.
72 397.
73 395G-H as well as 399G-J.
74 S v Van der Sandt 1998 (2) SACR 627 (W).
75 At 638i-j. See also Du Toit et al Commentary on the Criminal Procedure Act (2007) 13-16 - 13-17; S v Els 1993 (1) SACR 723 (E) 730d-e; Reddi 88.
76 S v Majola2001 (1) SACR 337 (NPD).
77 340E-F.
78 341A.
79 Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 282. See also S v Henry supra.
80 Morse (1986) 99.
81 Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 2 79, S v Moses 1996 (1) SACR 701 (C) 713A-C, S v Gesualdo 1997 (2) SACR 68 (W) 74G-H.
82 Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 280; S v Piccione 335C-D.
83 Hoctor 2000 SaCj 273 280; S v Potgieter 83A-B.
84 S v Chretien 1981 (1) SA 1097 (A).
85 1108C-D.
86 Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 284.
87 S v Gesualdo 1997 (2) SACR 68 (W).
88 Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 285.
89 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law 27 42.
90 Van Rensburg & Verschoor (1989) 49.
91 Ibid.
92 Ibid.
93 Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law27 43.
94 Ibid.
95 Kaliski 106.
96 Peter 136.
97 Ibid.
98 Van Rensburg & Verschoor 54; Ellis 349, Hoctor 2000 SACJ 273 286.
99 Kaliski 109.
100Rubinsky & Brandt 1986 Behavioural Science and the Law27 43.
101 Ibid.
102 Ibid.

Creative Commons License Todo o conteúdo deste periódico, exceto onde está identificado, está licenciado sob uma Licença Creative Commons