17 FEBRUARY 1923, Page 12

[To the Editor of-the SPECTATOR.] have been a regular subscriber

to the Spectator for several years, and am much surprised at its present attitude in regard to Asylum Treatment.

With reference to your review and topical article (of January 27th) and an "Ex-Patient's" letter (of February 3rd) on the subject, I wish to say, from some years' personal experience of treatment in a large public asylum, that I consider the allegations are, to say the least, grossly exag- gerated accounts, and not by any means truly " typical " of what happens in an asylum.

A certain amount of physical restraint is at times necessary for the safety both of the patient concerned and of others, but to interpret this as wanton cruelty is the work of a disor- dered mind. To accuse a doctor of not desiring the recovery of his patient is a professional slight, and, from a financial standpoint, a troublesome patient is not a profitable one to keep.

' Allowing for the occasional thoughtless, ignorant or impul- sive actions of young and inexperienced members of the staff, I found doctors, officials and nurses to be patient, kind and attentive, and I still count among my best friends several of those under whose care I then was, and to whom I owed a good recovery.—I am, Sir, &c.,