Non compos mentis  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Non compos mentis is a term meaning 'not of sound mind'. Non compos mentis derives from the Latin non meaning "not", compos meaning "having (command of)", and mentis (genitive singular of mens), meaning "mind". It is the direct opposite of Compos mentis (of a composed mind).

Usage

Although typically used in law, this term can also be used metaphorically or figuratively; e.g. when one is in a confused state, intoxicated, or not of sound mind.

Also applicable in health care, when a determination of competency needs to be made by a physician for purposes of obtaining informed consent for treatments and, if necessary, assigning a surrogate to make health care decisions. While the proper sphere for this determination is in a court of law, this is practically, and most frequently, made by physicians in the clinical setting.

In English law, the rule of non compos mentis was most commonly used when the defendant invoked religious or magical explanations for behaviour.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Non compos mentis" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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