8 AUGUST 1885, Page 3

A curious lunacy case—Neave v. Hatherley—was finished last Saturday in

a very unsatisfactory way. Miss Neave, the lady who had been six weeks confined in a lunatic asylum on certificates one of which had been signed by Mr. Hatherley, the family doctor, appears to have had "Jesuit on the brain," suspecting Jesuits everywhere, suspecting poison a good deal, suspecting enemies where there were none ; and the question for the jury was whether she was of unsound mind at the time that Mr. Hatherley gave the certificate, and if not, whether Mr. Hatherley was guilty of culpable negligence in giving such a certificate. The jury, who, from their mode of dealing with the case, do not seem to have been very clear-headed, answered both questions in the negative. Though this was virtually a verdict for Mr. Hatherley, it is certain that he will be put to great expense and cost by the action, and that it is becoming a very serious thing to sign one of these lunacy certificates. All the more is the desirability evident of taking the responsibility off these unfortunate medical men, and at the same time taking away the motive for certifying lunacy where lunacy is very questionable, by getting rid of the private lunatic asylums, and making both the decision that lunacy exists, and the care of the lunatic, a public trust.