insanity defense

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defense

 [de-fens´]
behavior directed to protection of the individual from injury.
character defense any character trait, e.g., a mannerism, attitude, or affectation, which serves as a defense mechanism.
insanity defense a legal concept that a person cannot be convicted of a crime if he lacked criminal responsibility by reason of insanity at the time of commission of the crime.
defense mechanism in psychology, an unconscious mental process or coping pattern that lessens the anxiety associated with a situation or internal conflict and protects the person from mental discomfort. In the theory of psychoanalysis, the ego, following the reality principle, conforms to the demands of the outside world, but the id (repressed unconscious), following the pleasure principle, pursues immediate gratification of desires and reduction of psychic tension. The superego (conscience or morality) may take either side. Defense mechanisms develop in order to control impulses or feelings that lead to inner conflicts, to reach compromises between conflicting impulses, and to reduce inner tensions. They help to manage or avoid anxiety, aggression, hostility, resentment, and frustration. Defense mechanisms are not pathological in themselves; they can be a means of dealing with unbearable situations. Among the most common defense mechanisms are denial, displacement, identification, projection, rationalization, reaction-formation, repression, and sublimation.
defense reaction a mental reaction that shuts out from consciousness ideas not acceptable to the ego. See also defense mechanism.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

in·san·i·ty de·fense

in forensic psychiatry, the use in the courtroom of insanity as a mitigating factor in the defense of an accused on trial for a serious criminal offense. See: criminal insanity.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

insanity defense

Forensic psychiatry A legal defense that a person cannot be convicted of a crime if he lacked criminal responsibility by reason of insanity–a term defined as a matter of law; the premise is that where there is no mens rea because of insanity, there is no criminal responsibility. See American Law Institute Formulation, Durham Rule, Irresistible impulse test, Long Island Rail Road massacre, M'Naughton Rule. Cf 'Black rage' defense, Television intoxication, 'Twinkie' defense.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

insanity defense

In legal and forensic medicine, the premise that an insane person who commits a crime is not legally responsible for that act.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
Oliver's attorney in June filed court documents indicating that his client intended at the time to rely upon the defense of "extreme emotional distress" at trial.
DESPITE severe financial hardship and extreme emotional distress, predictions of an exodus from farming in the areas worst hit by foot-andmouth disease have not happened.
Coburg City Council, Mayor Jae Pudewell, Ray Smith, Jerry Behney, Sharyl Abbaspour, Don Nelson, Patrick Kocurek and Steve Stearns: Plaintiff alleges abuse of process, interference of contract; civil rights violation and reckless infliction of extreme emotional distress by denying application for a marijuana dispensary.
The tort notice also claimed the city caused "reckless infliction of extreme emotional distress upon my person as a direct result of your hiding behind the badge of authority and the color of law preventing me from doing what I do lawfully through your twisted version of the laws and regulations of the state of Oregon and with blatant disregard of the prior approval of the applicant by the City of Coburg Planning Commission."
The lawsuit seeks compensation for treatment of injuries she suffered in the assault and the car crash, as well as for past and future treatment of her extreme emotional distress, long-term emotional trauma and "permanent" post- traumatic stress.

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