From Big Medical Encyclopedia

DIMINISHED RESPONSIBILITY — the legal concept meaning it a disease mental state of the person during commission of illegal act by it a cut does not allow to put (to charge) to it this act.

According to original positions of the Soviet criminal law the person which is responsible can only be the subject responsible for commission of crime; sanity is premises of fault. The person which is in N.'s condition is not a subject of a crime and is not subject to criminal liability; the illegal action made by it cannot be considered as a crime, and represents socially dangerous action of the insane, only measures of medical character can be applied to Krom.

In judicial psychiatry the doctrine about N. is one of the leading problems as in most cases at forensic-psychiatric examination the issue of sanity or N. of the persons subjected to examination is resolved. The correct interpretation of the concept «diminished responsibility» is important for respect for the Soviet socialist legality.

The Soviet judicial psychiatrists approach a solution of the problem of N. from positions of scientific and materialistic understanding of mental activity and the deterministic interpretation of behavior of the person following from it.

For N.'s justification basic value has understanding of a being of painful frustration of mentality as disturbances of reflective activity of a brain. At a mental disease the painful, distorted reflection of objectively existing reality deprives of the person of ability to correctly understand and estimate the acts made by it, to regulate the behavior. Painful frustration of mentality can lead to disturbance of complex social relationship of the patient with the environment and to such wrong actions, to-rye, constituting public danger, exclude legal responsibility of the patient for the act made by it.

Works of founders of domestic psychiatry of V. of X were important for development of the materialistic doctrine about N. Kandinsky, S. S. Korsakov, V. P. Serbian, A. U. Freza, etc., to-rye, proceeding from the principles a wedge, realism and materialistic interpretation of a will, was shown by the actual content of concepts of sanity and diminished responsibility and their ratio about a wedge, a picture of a mental disease.

The doctrine about N. gained further development in works of the Soviet judicial psychiatrists.

According to the law of a condition of N., to-rymi the court is guided and on a basis to-rykh the sudebnopsikhiatrichesky conclusion is under construction, are defined by a so-called formula of the diminished responsibility given in article 11 of Bases of the criminal legislation of USSR and federal republics, edges says: «The person who during commission of socially dangerous act was in a condition of diminished responsibility is not subject to criminal liability, that is could not realize the actions or direct them owing to a chronic sincere disease, temporary disorder of sincere activity, weak-mindedness or other disease state. To destination vessels can be used to such person coercive measures of medical character (article 58 — 61).

Also the person who committed a crime in a condition of sanity, but before removal of a sentence by court ached with the sincere disease depriving of it an opportunity to realize the actions is not subject to punishment or to direct them. To destination vessels can be used to such person coercive measures of medical character, and after recovery it can be subject to punishment».

Variety a wedge, manifestations and varying severity of disturbances of mentality cause need of two criteria for structure of a formula H. — medical and legal. The medical criterion represents the generalizing list mental diseases (see), to-rye are subdivided into 4 groups: 1) chronic sincere disease, 2) temporary disorder of sincere activity, 3) weak-mindedness, 4) other painful states.

The first group includes continuously or pristupoobrazno the proceeding mental diseases, tending to progressing and leading to profound and permanent personal changes — schizophrenia, senile dementia, presenile psychoses, a general paralysis and nek-ry other. Carry the short-term mental diseases which are coming to an end with recovery to the second group — alcoholic psychoses in the form of a delirium, hallucinosis, paranoid; exclusive states, reactive psychoses; symptomatic psychoses, etc. The third group combines all cases of the resistant decadent stages of mental activity, various on an etiology, which are followed by defeat of intelligence, first of all the level of judgments and criticism, irreversible changes of the personality, the expressed decrease or impossibility of social adaptation. The fourth group includes the cases which are not mental diseases in narrow sense of this word, but characterized by these or those disturbances of mental activity — psychopathies, mental infantility and nek-ry cases of a surdomutism.

Use of medical criterion of N. during the conducting forensic-psychiatric examination consists in recognition of a mental disease and definition its wedge, forms, i.e. in establishment of the diagnosis. The exact diagnosis based on knowledge of manifestations and patterns of a current of different forms of mental diseases allows to estimate correctly a mental condition of the person subjected to forensic-psychiatric examination at various stages of a disease.

However the diagnosis of a disease in itself often does not predetermine the solution of a question of N. Bolshinstvo of diseases yet is shown by the most various on weight mental disorders — from the lungs which are not bringing noticeable disturbances in a way of life and daily activity of the patient, to extremely heavy, resulting in disability and need of a nosotrophy. Such broad range in displays of mental disorders is observed, in particular, at epilepsy, mental disorders of traumatic and vascular genesis, after the postponed encephalitis, at an oligophrenia.

Actually forensic-psychiatric assessment which is based on definition of weight (depth) of the diagnosed painful frustration of mentality is given by means of legal criterion, to-ry it is formulated in the law as «impossibility to realize the actions and to direct them»; it characterizes such severity of a disease, edges are excluded by sanity. The legal criterion includes two signs: intellectual (impossibility to realize the actions) and strong-willed (impossibility to direct the actions), to-rye give more total, comprehensive characteristic of the mental disorders revealed at the person subjected to examination. The legal criterion is the general definition, the generalized characteristic of disturbances of mentality from the point of view of their weight which is excluding sanity or not depriving the person of an opportunity to realize the actions and to direct them. Use of legal criterion is carried out by the psychiatric analysis of the mental disturbances distinguished according to medical criterion and enters competence of psychiatrists experts. The final decision of a question about «sanity — diminished responsibility» belongs to court.

By the legislation of a number of foreign countries it is provided, except sanity and N., the so-called reduced sanity — decrease in fault and responsibility of persons with signs of mental anomalies, to-rye do not involve diminished responsibility. Establishment of the reduced sanity leads or to decrease in a measure of the punishment, or to the room condemned in establishment of semi-prison-semi-psychiatric type. The Soviet legislation, recognizing only alternative approach to a problem sanity — diminished responsibility, provides development by means of psychiatrists of special medical and educational measures concerning convicts with mental deviations.

See also Examination, forensic-psychiatric .

Bibliography: Buneev A. Concept of diminished responsibility and practice of forensic-psychiatric examination, Sots. legality, No. 10, page 21, 1954; Kandinsky V. H., To a question of diminished responsibility, M., 1890; JI at N of D. R. Problem of c of diminished responsibility in the theory and practice of judicial psychiatry, M., 1966; Morozov G. V. and Shi-r and N sky P. P. Some методоло^-гические problems of the Soviet forensic medicine and judicial psychiatry, Court. - medical examination, No. 3, page 7, 1977; Morozov G. V., Lunts D. R. and F e of l and ii-ska I am N. I. Main stages of development of domestic judicial psychiatry, M., 1976; Serbian V. P. Judicial psychopathology, century 1, M., 1895; it, About forensic-psychiatric examination, Ж^трн. neuropath., and psikhiat., book, 5, page 848, 1905»

G.V. Morozov.