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A Letter to the Right Honorable the Lord Chancello

A LETTER

TO

_THE LORD CHANCELLOR_.

A

LETTER

TO

THE RIGHT HONORABLE

THE

LORD CHANCELLOR,

ON THE

NATURE AND INTERPRETATION

OF

UNSOUNDNESS OF MIND,

AND

_IMBECILITY OF INTELLECT_.

BY

JOHN HASLAM, M.D.

LATE OF PEMBROKE HALL, CAMBRIDGE.

_LONDON:_

PUBLISHED BY R. HUNTER,

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD.

***

1823.

PRINTED BY G. HAYDEN,

Little College Street, Westminster.

A LETTER.

MY LORD,

THE present address originates in an anxious wish for the advancement of medical knowledge, where it is connected with those maladies of the human mind, that are referable to the court, wherein your Lordship has so long administered impartial justice. The disorders which affect the body are, in general, the exclusive province of the medical practitioner; but, by a wise provision, that has descended to us from the enlightened nations of antiquity, the law has considered those persons, whose intellectual derangement rendered them inadequate to the governance of themselves in society, or incapable of managing their affairs, entitled to its special protection. If your Lordship should feel surprized at this communication, or deem my conduct presumptuous, the thirst of information on an important subject is my only apology; and I have sought to allay it in the pure stream that issues from the fountain-head, rather than from subordinate channels or distant distributions. Although personally a stranger to your Lordship, nearly thirty years of my life have been devoted to the investigation and treatment of insanity: of which more than twenty have been professionally passed in the largest receptacle for lunatics;--and the press has diffused, in several publications, my opinions and experience concerning the human mind, both in its sound state and morbid condition.

The medical profession, of which I am an humble member, entertains very different notions concerning the nature of UNSOUNDNESS of mind, and IMBECILITY of intellect;--and this difference of opinion has been displayed on many solemn occasions, where medical testimony has been deposed.

If


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