No less successful than its predecessors, the annual meeting of 1889 will be remembered as one at which the question of a separate building for curable cases of insanity formed the subject of an interesting and useful debate. The theme chosen by the President for his address was eminently appropriate, having been “in the air” for some months, and calling for the public expression of opinion on the part of members of the Association. Nothing could have been better calculated to secure this end than the able and lucid address of Dr. Hayes Newington, which deserves, and will no doubt receive, careful reading by those who were not present at the meeting. The discussion which followed will be found very fully reported in this number of the Journal. The proposals made by the President are, it is important to bear in mind, widely different from those which have been promulgated of late as likely to be adopted by the London County Council. The former may succeed, the latter fail. A medical County Councillor, who listened to the discourse, informed us that he was thankful to the President for observations which are by no means calculated to encourage the crude notions and wild hopes recently created, and still current, in regard to the brilliant results likely to be obtained by the treatment of the insane in a sort of general hospital, having the benefit of the services of non-alienist physicians, including gynæcologists, some of whom are in danger of doing more harm than good by forgetting, as Wilson Fox once said, that “woman is not all womb.” What Dr. Newington proposes is altogether different, namely, an auxiliary institution in the neighbourhood of our large asylums, but not within sight, in which curable cases should be treated for a limited period. The establishment of curable and incurable asylums is, of course, nothing new, and in Germany has been adopted with doubtful success; but the plan, as proposed by Dr. Newington, is worked out in a more definite and detailed manner than has hitherto been elaborated.
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