Causation, compulsion, and involuntariness.
S. J. Morse,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law
22(2): 159-80, 1994.
This article first addresses the persistent confusion between causation and excuse. It demonstrates
that causation is not the equivalent of compulsion and that causation per se is not an excusing
condition. Then the article examines the conceptual and practical difficulties presented by the excuse
that is variously labeled "compulsion," "involuntariness," "volitional problems," "irresistible
impulse," and the like. It concludes that this excuse, when produced by internal causes, is far less
well understood and assessed than forensic clinicians usually assume and that most such excusing
conditions are better understood and assessed in terms of rationality problems.