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July 13, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(2):116-117. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470280040011

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The newspapers have recently devoted some of their news and editorial space to a case in which an alleged lunatic was liberated by an Indiana court decision as not insane, and have dilated upon the occurrence as a proof that under existing laws sane persons are liable to be committed to the "living death" of asylum existence. There is nothing that more quickly stirs up the public than such a charge, and there has been an evident tendency to make the most of it. Without regard to the merits of the particular case or to the peculiarities of Indiana laws, it may safely be said that the danger of sane persons being long confined in public asylums is a minimal one. It seems to us also that the presumption is all in favor of the insanity of a person detained in an asylum under presumably competent and honest medical officers,

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