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February 26, 1938

THE PSYCHIATRIST'S RESPONSIBILITY TO THE CRIMINALLY INSANE AND TO SOCIETY

JAMA. 1938;110(9):634-639. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790090016006

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Abstract

There are three protagonists in law trials in which an alleged insane person is either in the box or at the bar: the judge, the alleged insane person and the doctor. One can look at the problem from all three points of vision. There is an unseen fourth: the public, made articulate by the press.

Our forefathers fought for the recognition of individual rights: Runnymede and Magna Charta, the Bill of Rights, the struggle with the crown, the lopping off the anointed head that bore it, the continuation of that same struggle in America with the victory of the people, the reform bill of 1832: the present day liberties of each of us have been bought by struggle and by sacrifice. The Great War was in essence a fight for individualism against suppressing organized government, as represented by Prussia; and only the other day, ten years ago, another struggle, bloodless

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