Irwin N. Perr


Epilepsy is one of the few medical conditions which have been singled out both in common law and in statutory law. In addition, epilepsy has become increasingly important as it may be a sequel to head injuries, and thus the lawyer dealing with personal injury cases must have some acquaintance with epilepsy and its problems.The first part of this paper will be a simplified description of epilepsy with emphasis on those aspects which may be of some importance to the law. This will be followed by discussion of epilepsy in relation to various laws on marriage, sterilization, automobile driving, and workmen's compensation, and comments on the relation of epilepsy to criminal and civil responsibility, accompanied by illustrative actual cases. It will become apparent, in the course of this article, that the medical aspects of epilepsy are extremely complex, and that therefore any attempt to cover this field briefly must be superficial.