Source: Philadelphia Medical Journal
Source type: journal
Document type: letter to the editor
Document title: “Not a Case in Psychiatry”
Author(s): Dercum, F. X.
Date of publication: 19 October 1901
Volume number: 8
Issue number: 16
|Dercum, F. X. “Not a Case in Psychiatry.” Philadelphia Medical Journal 19 Oct. 1901 v8n16: p. 652.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); Leon Czolgosz (mental health).|
“By F. X. Dercum, M. D., of Philadelphia. Professor of Nervous Diseases in Jefferson Medical College” (p. 652).
The document below is one of six letters to the editor appearing in this issue of the journal, all of which are grouped under the collective heading “A Symposium on the Czolgosz Case.”
Not a Case in Psychiatry
To the Editor of the Philadelphia Medical Journal:
Dear Doctor:—In my opinion, the Czolgosz case presents no points for medico-legal discussion. It is difficult to comprehend how so revolting, so senseless and so useless a crime could be committed by a person of normal mental make-up—difficult to understand how a young man born and educated in this country could commit such a crime and still be mentally sound. This thought doubtless filled the minds of the counsel for the prisoner, for they caused the prisoner to be examined as to his mental condition by competent medical experts, but the fact that these experts were not placed upon the witness stand, permits of no other inference than that their examination furnished no data upon which a theory of insanity could be based. Under these circumstances the case of Czolgosz does not belong to the field of psychiatry, but to that of the psychology of crime.