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multiple17-May-2014ethics/moralityJessicaWoman99 by votes23252.3%


Could brain injuries be an excuse for your behavior?

You decide to maybe rob a bank or you drive recklessly and you hurt somebody not on purpose and perhaps you are an angry person etc.


posted 17-May-2014 10:19am  
Possibly a reason, but not an excuse.
Enheduanna Survey Central Subscriber
posted 17-May-2014 10:42am  
I don't think so.
Biggles Bronze Star Survey Creator
posted 17-May-2014 12:17pm  
I don't have a brain injury, so not for my behaviour, no. Having worked with people with a variety of brain injuries (mostly alcohol or stroke related), I have certainly excused a lot of behaviour on the basis that it is caused by a disability. Usually rudeness, aggression or violence. However, I haven't looked after anyone who had a brain injury causing changes in their behaviour, who would also have the ability to plan a bank robbery or get behind the wheel of a car. It's certainly plausible though. In a case like that, someone's behaviour might be explained by their brain injury, but not necessarily excused. Criminal proceedings would have to take place to protect society against the person they had become, not the person that they once were, but as always, I think the main aim should be rehabilitation whenever possible.
posted 17-May-2014 4:07pm  
Yes it all depends what type of brain injury I am guessing so many people that get in trouble with the law they blame it on a brain injury
posted 17-May-2014 6:43pm  
Depends on what you mean by "excuse". There's no way to know for sure if you would or wouldn't have taken those actions without the brain injury but you're still responsible.
posted 17-May-2014 10:12pm  
In a manner of speaking. It could be a cause or a partial cause for behavior such as robbing a bank or driving recklessly. But society still has to deal with those unacceptable acts in a way that prevents them from happening in the future, which is often going to include consequences such as taking away driving privileges, or keeping the person away from the rest of society by putting them in jail.
posted 20-May-2014 6:55pm  
Only if you've got one. I could go on at length...
posted 21-May-2014 1:39pm  
At work, I deal with a lot of people with traumatic brain injuries. Symptoms that result from traumatic brain injuries include a range of personality changes including: impaired cognition, inability to control anger and impulses, other forms of emotional instability, substance abuse, irritability, apathy, social maladjustment, lack of inhibition and initiative, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation (the suicide rate increases significantly).

Needless to say, their opportunities to find gainful employment a severely restricted, so they tend to wind up in poverty and isolation. Criminal behaviours are common as well, although the chances of them successfully pulling off a complex task like "robbing a bank" and getting away with it are very slim. Traumatic brain injuries are relatively rare overall, but among populations of the marginalised, homeless and poverty stricken and in prison populations they are quite common. Prisoners have an increased likelihood of receiving additional traumatic brain injuries from vicious assaults in retaliation for their erratic antisocial behaviour.
posted 22-May-2014 11:47am  
No. It may be used as an excuse, but it does not excuse the person from doing it. If they are aware that this could happen, and takes no means to find a solution, then it's wrong to act like that.
Let's just say...I hit my head, and then clobber the neighbors kid. I couldn't help it. Then I find out I have a brain injury. now when I clobber the neighbors kid, I tell them I have a brain injury, I can't help it, so too fudging bad for them. It's an excuse to not heal the brain injury, give up, and get away with bad things.
Or, apologize to the neighbor for clobbering their kid, tell them it was a brain injury you just found out about, and you are now taking means to find a solution.
It still isn't an excuse. It's an unfortunate experience.
(reply to Zang) posted 22-May-2014 11:52am  
Wow, those are extreme examples. My experience is from knowing many that have had brain injuries, but no one would ever consider it an excuse to commit crimes.
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 22-May-2014 3:05pm  
I'm not saying it is an excuse, so much as providing information that may help to put it into context. Diminished capacity and all that...
(reply to Zang) posted 23-May-2014 8:45am  
Right, I got that. I reread what I wrote and it did sound like I said it might. Holy cow, menopause alone may cause murder as an excuse. I think it did once.
(reply to cloudhugger) posted 24-May-2014 12:05pm  
I think there is a bit of a difference, but one must look at individual cases.
LindaH Silver Star Survey Creator
posted 24-May-2014 11:17pm  
Any excuse is a good excuse for my behavior.

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