The separate grouping of divers diseases in hospitals for their better treatment is a constant accompaniment of progress in medicine. Medical complaints have been separated from surgical ones; contagious diseases have been isolated from non-contagious diseases, and from one another; acute cases have been separated from chronic ones; those under medical treatment from those simply convalescent. But of late years, in the domain of mental science, so far from the separation of different groups becoming more and more definite, it might be held with some plausibility that for years back the tendency has been the other way. The asylum is becoming more and more an infirmary, a place for stowing away all the wreckage of our social system, all the flotsam and jetsam of disease and misfortune—a place where is thrown together everything in human nature troublesome and unsightly. Eccentric and dotard old people, deserted children whose feeble mental faculties made unusual demands upon the care of the poor-house matron, helpless paralytics, and many of the miscellaneous cases where bodily disease has brought with it mental feebleness, are all shoved into the District Asylum, to be kept till death walks them off.
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