20 DECEMBER 1935, Page 20


[To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.]

Sia,—Since the Mental Treatment Act came into force in • 1931, doctors are practically immune against law-suits by mental patients ; and the extra fee they receive fur certifying in rate-aided institutions should now be abolished. In these institutions in 1032, according to the Minister of Health, 1,000 persons were certified " erroneously " ; and in 1033, according to the Board of Control, 2,400 were certified unnecessarily. .

In spite of the much-vaunted wish to save patients from stigma, no machinery exists to cancel wrongful certificates or damaging statements, proved to be unfounded, either in the certificates or in subsequent reports. The late Judge Wild, Recorder of London, complained in 1033 that a woman had been detained for five years longer than necessary, and that thousands of patients never saw a magisi rate.—Yours faith-