Splitting Legal Personality

Christian Andrew Labitoria Gallardo[1]

A 17th century philosopher once remarked that a heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of. This Blaise Pascal quote was made famous among lawyers and law students however when it was quoted in a Supreme Court decision[2] regarding the illegal termination of a 30-year old teacher who fell in love with her 16-year old grade six student. While indeed passion and sentiments are wonderful phenomena, the mind has its own complexities that are beyond human understanding as of the moment.

One of such confounding complexity is a mental health condition called Dissociative Identity Personality, commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Under which, one body may associate itself with two or more identities, each of which has its own personal history, traits and character.[3] This is pretty much the one commonly depicted in psychological thriller films, where an innocent-looking character, which may even be the protagonist himself, turns out to be the perpetrator of a grave crime which he knows nothing about because it was committed by one of his several identities. A more interesting study however reveals that one identity may have a different health condition with another identity occupying the same human body.[4] These physiological changes reveal the intense power of the mind over the human body.