New PDF release: Mental Health, Social Policy and the Law

By Tom Butler (auth.)

ISBN-10: 134907439X

ISBN-13: 9781349074396

ISBN-10: 1349074411

ISBN-13: 9781349074419

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Extra info for Mental Health, Social Policy and the Law

Example text

The qu art er sess ions assigned two Ju stices and ph ysician to visit and inspect the asylums in th eir area. Th ese Act s were impo rta nt in as much as th ey committed a central govern ment dep artm ent. for th e first tim e , to promoting the visitin g, licensing the inspection of the asylums . But these Act s did not attempt to outline any specific form of regim e or organisation within the institutions them selves. The bills were seconded in February 1828 by Ashley, who chose the issue of lunacy reform as his first major parliamentary speech .

Their success in establishing recognition as part of a rational and scientific elite seems to be in some doubt. The new practice of psychiatry was neither popular nor prestigious, but it was embraced in reforming circles . The 1845 Act is important in that it imposed a ministerial duty on government for the care of the lunatic. The creation of a national, central inspectorate was a recognition by government that the scandals of the private madhouses could not be overcome by good intentions alone.

The Act was important in that it entrusted the justices with powerful discretionary influence , although in practice this did not always materialise. Twenty years after the Act was passed, only nine of the fifty-two English counties had built their own asylums . The Act was of great The Politics of Social Change 25 importance in establishing the principle of hospital care through the county system. Part of the reluctance of the justices to build the asylums may have been the drain on parish income which would be involved .

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Mental Health, Social Policy and the Law by Tom Butler (auth.)

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