The late Dr. Samuel Sloan
BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)
NOv. 6, I920] OBITUARY. TrDIcBoi 723 --I~= of Sec. 315 of tlle Act, which imposes a penalty for detention effected without compliance witlh the provisions of the Act-that is, without the judicial investigation implied in c3rtification. Certification is essentially a bulwark of protection for tllose whose freedom is endangered. The annulling of S. 315 by this surreptitious metlhod exposes sucll individuals to imnminent peril.. A mental case cannot be regarded solely from a medical point of view,
... ical point of view, except in cases where detention is unnecessary. Once liberty is imperilled, the need for legal safeguard arises. Tllo "stigma" wlicih is so muclh stressed (more especially by mental specialists) is not caused by the protecting procedure, but by the cir-cum2stances of indignity accompanying detention. Let the system be revolutionized, and hostels be provided for early " uncertifiable " cases (see Clause 11) run oln a purely hospital footing and free from connexion with lunacy administration, and the " stigm-ia " will disappear with the emergence of a wlholly different metlhod of treatmentthat is, a method characterized by hope, encouragement, occupations of interest, and a clleerful outlook on the future, instead of bolts and bars, depression, vacancy, and dread. Nothling could be worse for the slightlv unbalanced mind tlhan the present atmosphere obtaining in most mental institutions.