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On the Need for Family Care of Persons of Unsound Mind in Ireland

  • Conolly Norman

The question of the adoption in Ireland of family care as a method of dealing with mental unsoundness is at once highly academic and highly practical: academic because this mode of treatment has never been hitherto attempted in that country; and practical, because it may be said, with a slight modification of a familiar line, that no nation wants it so much. Perhaps all this is only another way of saying that the question stands exactly in that position in which any earnest and vigorous reformer likes to take a subject up. The crop is ripe, but no sickle has yet swept over the field.

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(1) An abstract of this paper was read at a meeting of the Fourth International Home Relief Congress at Edinburgh, Tune 8th, 1904. Certain clauses added as the paper passes through the press are distinguished by inclusion in square brackets.

(2) More than one speaker at the Congress observed on this aspect of the question, notably Dr. Parker of Gartloch, who pointed out that there is a fallacy in comparing the cost in district asylums, minus the best working patients, with the cost of the boarded out, many of whom are virtually wage earners. That family care may prove palatable to local authorities it is necessary to show that it is not unduly costly, but the true ground on which it should be advocated is that it is the best, and not that it is the cheapest mode of treatment. As Howe tells us above, the good of the inmates and not of the institution should be paramount.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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On the Need for Family Care of Persons of Unsound Mind in Ireland

  • Conolly Norman
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