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Practitioner 2011; 255(1738): 24

100 years ago: The Ament and his influence on the future of the race

23 Mar 2011Pais-up subscribers

'THE RESULTS of the recent Royal Commission on the Care and Control of the Feeble-minded have disclosed a state of affairs so appalling that there can now be no doubt whatever but that we have reached a period in our race history when it is the duty of every physician to cry aloud and rest not until the people are made aware of the true state of affairs, and are taught to recognise the canker-worm which is not slowly, but rapidly and surely, undermining our very national existence. Let us consider the position today. The lunatic, on the one hand, is detained in asylums, both private and public; for the imbecile, on the other, who is much the more potent agent of the two in racial deterioration, there is no State provision whatever; voluntary charitable effort has, through the instrumentality of some half dozen specially equipped training institutions, accomplished but a fraction of what is really necessary for efficient care and control by providing him with a home and training for a term of years, after which period he is discharged only, in the vast majority of instances, to continue to be a burden on the community, and a menace to his fellows.'

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