Our honoured foreign colleague and associate, Dr. Jules Morel, Physician and Director of the State Asylum at Mons, has, in the Belgian retrospect which appears in this number of the Journal, given an account of the sessional work done at the meeting of the International Congress for the Care of the Insane held in Antwerp, September 1st to 7th, 1902. It was a notable meeting of a notable body. Belgium has been ever remarkable for the work done at Gheel, and since the foundation in recent years of the new colony at Lierneux these two institutions have been the main attraction which that country has offered to those who are practically interested in the care of the insane. At the meeting in last September the question of family care was naturally the main topic, the thread round which hung all the discussions. What has been done in this direction met with the enthusiastic and almost unanimous approval of the alienists who were present, and many proposals were considered for extending and widening the application of the principle. But though the influence of the genius loci kept this special topic in the forefront, few matters of interest to asylum administrators were left untouched. The question of whether institutions for the insane should be directed by physicians or by laymen has practically little interest in England and Scotland, having long passed beyond the region of discussion. The training of attendants, owing to the exertions of our Association, may be said to have reached the same stage. Unfortunately we are not as far advanced in the question of providing special diplomas in psychiatry for physicians. Organised and general after-care cannot yet be considered to be within the range of practical endeavour, in spite of all that has been done to bring it under public notice and of the efforts that are being made in individual cases.
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