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May 7, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(19):1495-1496. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680450039022

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Lunacy Reform  Dr. George M. Robertson, physician-superintendent of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside, and professor of psychiatry in the University of Edinburgh, points out in his annual report that the most important event in the medico-psychologic world last year was the drawing up of the report of the royal commission on lunacy and mental disorder, which is admitted by experts to be a wonderful achievement. Its most striking departure is acknowledgment for the first time that the treatment of mental disorder is essentially a medical question. Strange as it may appear, the existing lunacy laws, particularly those of England, seem to have been devised with the object of obstructing medical relief. They enact that patients applying for treatment voluntarily must be refused admission to psychopathic hospitals. No one can be admitted until his disease has become thoroughly established or his conduct has become a public nuisance. Even then he cannot

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