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Cuadernos de Medicina Forense

versão On-line ISSN 1988-611Xversão impressa ISSN 1135-7606


VILLAREJO RAMOS, A.. The criterion of causality in the assessment of the imputability of personality disorders. Cuad. med. forense [online]. 2003, n.33, pp.25-33. ISSN 1988-611X.

The determination of the penal imputability of an individual with a personality disorder who has committed an offence is based on the examination of four factors: qualitative, quantitative, and chronological, as well as the criterion of causality. The last is the object of our work. Establishing causality implies attributing personality traits to the commission of unlawful behaviour, an exercise not free of difficulties. Firstly, from a philosophical perspective, because it supposes a task of observation eminently empirical and probabilist. Secondly, from the psychological perspective, because the causality of the behaviour isn't rooted exclusively in the individual who performs it, but in the interaction between that individual and the environmental stimuli that are acting upon him, which implies the investigation of such environmental factors and of the way they influence the individual. And finally, from the forensic-psychiatric point of view, we have to diagnose the nuclear personality traits that the infractor demonstrates, which are affected by definite environmental situations, and verify that the imputed behaviour fits in its patoplasty with the consistent behavioural answers expected according to said interaction. In other words, to determine the causality between an unlawful act and the personality trait of the one who commits it, we have to study the interaction environment/nuclear traits of personality and verify that the imputable fact answers to the pattern of habitual behaviour in that particular personality.

Palavras-chave : Personality disorders; Imputability; Relation of causality; Nuclear traits; Consistent behaviour; Forensic psychiatry.

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