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September 30, 1899

The Government Hospital for the Insane.

JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(14):869-870. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450660059015

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Bridgewater, Mass., Sept. 19, 1899.

To the Editor:  —In the Journal of September 2, an unsigned letter was published, under the above heading, which, for fairness' sake, I wish to review. The ostensible object of the letter was to express condemnation of a "vicious" system of appointment, which, according to the writer, secures Incompetent men as chief executives of insane asylums.If the writer's premises were correct, if it were a fact, that "few of them (superintendents) before appointment, have had either practical or theoretic experiences in the treatment of mental or nervous disease," he would deserve the thanks of the profession generally, and particularly of those assistant physicians who are doing painstaking medical work in the hospitals for the insane, for his so-called "arraignment" of their chiefs. But because his premises are only true in exceptional cases, his conclusions are invalid.A brief letter is sufficient to formulate a

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