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The Queen v. the Commissioners in Lunacy


This was a rule calling upon the Commissioners in Lunacy to show cause why a mandamus should not issue requiring them to direct the discharge of Captain R. C. Cockerill, at present detained as a lunatic in Holloway Sanatorium. Captain Cockerill had applied to the Commissioners to be discharged tinder section 49 of the Lunacy Act, 1890. That section provides that an order for the examination by two medical practitioners authorised by the Commissioners of any person detained as a lunatic in any institution for lunatics may be obtained from the Commissioners upon the application of any person, whether a relative or friend or not, who satisfies the Commissioners that it is proper for them to grant such order; and the section further provides that on production to the Commissioners of the certificates of the medical practitioners so authorised, certifying that after two separate examinations, with at least seven days intervening between the first and second examinations, they are of opinion that the patient may without risk of injury to himself or the public be discharged, the Commissioners may order the patient to be discharged at the expiration of ten days from the date of the order. Certificates under the section had been given by Dr. Savage and Dr. Mercier. Dr. Savage in his certificate stated that he had come to the conclusion that Captain Cockerill, while still having unusual ideas on religious subjects, and though still hearing voices, yet, in Dr. Savage's opinion, did not require detention in an asylum. Dr. Savage further stated his belief that Captain Cockerill had mental power enough to resume his duties, the only point in any way likely to cause trouble being the idea that he had a mission to unite all creeds and that in pursuit of this idea he might be troublesome to “eminent scholars.” The Commissioners, however, after enquiries into the case, came to the conclusion that it was not a case in which an order for discharge should be made, and they refused to make the order.

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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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The Queen v. the Commissioners in Lunacy

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