Malingering

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Malingering

 

the feigning of sickness or certain disease symptoms. Malingering may be premeditated or pathological. Premeditated malingering is usually characterized by mercenary motives, including the obtaining of disability benefits or evasion of military service. Pathological malingering is brought on by a diseased state and is, in essence, a symptom of such diseases as hysteria.

Malingering should not be confused with autosuggestion, aggravation, or maiming. In cases of autosuggestion, an individual, usually a mentally disturbed person, is sincerely convinced that he has a severe somatic ailment, for example, cancer. Aggravation is an exaggeration of the symptoms of an existing disease. Maiming is an artificially produced injury or illness. Dissimulation is the premeditated suppression, concealment, or attenuation of a disease, for example, for the purpose of passing a medical upon applying for a job or for admission to an academic institution.

Under Soviet law, malingering is punishable criminally if it is used as a means of evading a regular call to active military service (art. 17 of the Law of Criminal Responsibility for State Crimes; art. 80 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR) or of evading the performance of military duties (art. 13 of the Law of Criminal Responsibility for Military Crimes; art. 249 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR).

Dissimulation is not punishable criminally but may entail specific legal consequences, for example, being fired from work.

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