Every now and then a case crops up illustrating the serious responsibility and risks which a medical man incurs in signing a certificate of lunacy, but perhaps no better instance can be brought forward in support of this statement than the one known in Scotland as “the Mackintosh of Holme Case.” The extracts from the newspapers tell their own tale, and make remarks almost superfluous; but we may state for the benefit of those interested in the matter, that in the “Journal of Mental Science,” vol. x., they will find remarks on the case, in one of its aspects, by Dr. Tuke. In vol. xi. of the same Journal, p. 616, there is a notice concerning a testimonial presented to the proprietors of Saughtonhall, the asylum in which Mr. Mackintosh was detained; the subscribers, chiefly medical men, expressed their sympathy with the physicians at the head of the institution for the very unpleasant and expensive case into which they had been brought. But as there are always two sides to a question, and we can only arrive at the truth by examining both, we append a letter by Dr. Mackintosh which appeared in the “Inverness Courier,” April 25, 1872, in which he gives his views on the matter so long disputed. We give the extracts from the “Scotsman” at full length, otherwise the legal niceties might be imperfectly indicated.
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