COMMITMENT OF THE INSANE TO ASYLUMS OR HOSPITALS, In many countries. and in most of the States in the Union, special safeguards are erected by laws to prevent the confinement of sane people in institutions for the insane, as well as to secure to the insane a full enjoyment of their rights. For instance, in the State of New York an alleged insane person may he com mitted to an institution for the reception and care of the insane only after a complicated. though not public, process. In this State the word asylum is used no longer, but has been replaced by the term hospital. There are no more 'keepers;' hut nurses and attendants have the immediate care of the mentally astray. A Commission in Lunacy controls all matters re lating to the insane. This commission is com posed of a medical man of at least five years' )•xperienee in the actual care of the insane in an institnticw of some size, a lawyer, and a layman, all three appointed by the Governor of the State. These commissioners issue or revoke licenses to physicians or to State hospitals whereby they are permitted to conduct or for bidden to conduct institutions for the care and treatment of the insane. 'They also are charged with the duty of visiting all institutions, super vising, and in a sense directing their govern ment. Any judge of a court of record may appoint as an examiner in lunacy a physician of whom lie approves, who has been in the actual practice of his profession at least three years, and who is a permanent resident of the State.
The commitment paper, as formulated by the New York State Commission, consists of five parts: (1) A petition, to he made by a member of the family of the alleged insane person. by a person living in the house with him, or by a county officer, setting forth the reasons of the petitioner for believing the person insane. and asking the court to act in the matter; (2) a certificate made under oath by two examiners giving the results of their joint examination of the patient (3) a waiver of personal service of the order of court upon the person in question, to be signed by the commit ting justice in his discreti m. or a substitutional service: (4) an order for a hearing before the justice, if in his opinion this be necessary or desirable, or be requested: (5) an order of a judge of a court of record conunitting the alleged insane person to the chosen hospital or retreat. after officially declaring hint to be insane. In the case of indigent lunatics. who are partially or totally a charge upon the State, a further statement is made by the justice concerning the patient's financial condition, far as can be ascertained. This entire proceeding may be eon eluded, with the exception of the hearing, with out publicity or violation of the privacy that should surround family matters; yet it prevent: a conspiracy to incarcerate a sane man as insane.