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September 2, 1944

Current Comment

JAMA. 1944;126(1):33. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850360035014

POLITICAL CARE OF THE MENTALLY ILL IN NEW YORK  When an epidemic of amebic dysentery occurred in the Creedmoor State Hospital in New York in March 1943, Gov. Thomas E. Dewey appointed a commission to investigate the management and affairs of the Department of Mental Hygiene of the State of New York and the institutions operated by it. That report,1 which has just been made available, emphasizes again the defects that seem inseparable from political medicine. In 1942 New York mental hospitals were caring for 83,053 patients at an annual cost of $30,474,048.08. The commission found everywhere signs of inadequate examination of mental defectives, unsatisfactory recording of physical conditions on admission and lack of professional care, owing largely to the use of an undermanned professional staff. "The emphasis in all the institutions has been on administration at the expense of clinical

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