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3. English Retrospect.—Asylum Reports for 1875

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Thirty-eighth Annual Report op the Suffolk Lunatic Asylum.—This report, among other interesting remarks, contains some of which all superintendents will admit the truth, and which, though not now delivered for by any means the first time, are valuable as tending to remind the public at large of important facts which they are very apt to forget. Speaking of the objections to discharging patients who are insane, but quiet, orderly and industrious within the Asylum, Dr. Kirkman says:—“It is perplexing to keep within the letter of the law, and to resist importunate entreaties; when they are complied with, feeling too often prevails over judgment.” It will be said that a certain man, he continues, “might as well be working at home, and earning his living, as spending such capabilities for the benefit of the Asylum, where he is detained as an insane man. But how often is half a truth proved to be the greatest falsehood; it is the secret of quiet protection and asylum security in the background, which renders such occasional or constant display possible; work is his happiness, his physic, and his cure; he could not do under different circumstances, without medical treatment, or without the latent sense of treatment, what he does in the asylum, and under its sheltering care. This is but a vivid instance of a very large class of patients who can and will work with advantage here, but with whom friends make the fatal error, that they could work just as well at home.” Dr. Kirkman might have added that the percentage of those who do a really good day's work in asylums is very small indeed, while that of those who do a good year's is almost fractional. Dr. Kirkraan announces his determination to retire from the post which he has now held for forty-five years, and we only express the sentiment of all the members of our Association, when we say that we trust that the committee of visitors have sufficiently rewarded his long and valuable services, and that he may long enjoy their liberality. Neither the Committee of Visitors' nor the Commissioners' Report is printed, which we think is a mistake. The death rate is 10·5 per cent.

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3. English Retrospect.—Asylum Reports for 1875

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