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THE STATE IN THE CARE OF ITS INSANE
W. W. Godding
Am J Psychiatry 1890;46:311-326.
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The Government Hospital for the Insane, Washington, D. C.

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Abstract

To sum up then, since this paper has already been prolonged to too great a length, this Conference through its individual members should mould public sentiment in the direction of immediate action to provide in each State supervision and accommodation for all of its insane. Such provision implies an expenditure and effort out of proportion to what has hitherto been made, and one that must be annually renewed, but the burden once resolutely taken up and continously borne, and bearing fruits in the improved condition of these afflicted ones, it will no longer seem a burden, a twice blessed, ennobling charity rather, that "Blesseth him that gives, and him that takes."The provision made should be adapted to the varying conditions and so apportioned that no one class shall act as a detriment to any other. To this end provision and treatment should be individualized and not stereotyped.So, with ample space for every occupation and diversion, with buildings simply constructed but fitted to each varying want, grouped or scattered, distinct, yet, if need be, readily connected by covered or subterranean ways, in the near future we may realize in each State—not a Gheel, although something perhaps might be learned from that, and doubtless more from the Colony of Fitz James at Cleremont or Saxony's Asylum at Alt Scherbitz, but in no servile imitation of European systems although benefitting by the study of all—a distinctively American Home for all the insane, beneath whose soothing shadow and healing touch perchance some mentally blind gathered there might receive their sight.

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