The guardians of the poor at Yarmouth are of opinion that half a guinea is an adequate fee for each medical certificate granted for the detention of pauper lunatics in asylums. The local medical practitioners refuse to accept less than a guinea, when they enter on the serious responsibilities which the Lunacy Acts entail upon them. We should not have been surprised if they had decided to raise the amount to twice the modest sum which custom has sanctioned. The Legislature has taken elaborate care in this matter, considering the interests of the alleged lunatic, the interests of the community, but in no way determining the pecuniary interests of the ratepayers. No doctor proceeds to the examination of an insane person without a lively sense of the importance of coming to a right decision on the questions submitted to him. He must be prepared to answer for his findings before the law. He has to decide by a personal examination, which may cost him much time and trouble, if the person is of unsound mind, if he is a fit and proper person to be detained in an asylum, if he is in a fit state for removal to an asylum. These are not perfunctory questions to be answered haphazard. The wonder to us is that, after the experience of the medical profession in courts of law, the work is undertaken at all. Did we not record in October last how witchcraft was recognised by the laws of England, and how it bore upon the case of Dowling v. Dod?
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