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May 11, 1889


JAMA. 1889;XII(19):665-666. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02400960017004

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We are indebted to the Occidental Medical Times for advance sheets containing a good abstract of the proceedings of the California State Medical Society, in San Francisco, April 17, 18, and 19, 1889. The report of a Committee on Mental Diseases and Medical Jurisprudence, was read by Dr. J. W. Robertson of San Francisco, in which he discussed at some length the causes of insanity, and especially the influence of civilization and mental culture. The assertion has been often made that insanity in its various forms, is decidedly increasing beyond the ratio of increase of the population, in all the more civilized countries. But the report says, "if there was any actual increase in the numbers of the insane, relatively, throughout the whole civilized world, statistics have failed to show it." It is suggested that the apparent increase is owing largely to the greater attention given to the insane during

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