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crime could be charged to his ac- neous views are very prevalent in count, how he denounced those who the community on this subject. It had thus without cause shut him up is common to this day, even among like a felon, and especially with the excellent and well informed, to what sorrowful but burning indig. propose to send their insane friends nation he spoke of the man, who to a Retreat by stratagem, and this under the guise of friendship, had has often been done even by the decoyed him into this snare of his advice of physicians. So far as we enemies.' Though a mere boy, we recollect, in all the cases of insanity pitied him—we sympathized with that have gone to Retreats from unhim.
We had known him only der our care, this mode of manageas a pleasant old man, who used to ment has been spoken of by some, amuse us as we met him in the and generally by many, as the only streets, with stories of his immense proper mode. The public need to wealth and of the splendid plans be instructed and reformed on this of building on which he loved to point. speculate. We felt that it was It is a common observation that wrong to confine him, an innocent the insane are apt to look upon man, among vile criminals, and their best and most intimate friends wondered not that the keen sense of as their enemies. Why is this? It such injury prompted to the utter- is clear to our mind, that it is for ance of curses on those who inflict. the most part to be ascribed to the
But these natural feelings influence of deception, waking up, gave way in our bosom, as they did as might be expected, feelings of in older ones, to what was then sup. resentment and enmity in the boposed to be the necessity of the som of the insane, which would not case-a necessity which, we rejoice otherwise be there. This is to say, has since that been found clusively proved by the fact, that not to exist in similar cases. A these feelings do not ordinarily exvery great improvement has been ist toward the physicians and atteneffected in this as well as in other dants in Retreats, who pursue a respects, in the management of the frank and candid course with their insane. Most of those whom it was patients. once thought necessary to confine The extent to which deception is with bolts and bars and perhaps practiced upon the insane can not chains, and upon whom deception be fully appreciated, except by those was continually and systematically whose attention has been specially practiced, thus adding poignancy to called to this subject. As we have the pangs of the oppressed spirit, already remarked in regard to chilare now permitted to have so much dren, so also it is with the insane liberty that they are cheerful and —deception is so common, that happy, reposing entire confidence people often make use of it alin their attendants who are careful most unconsciously. The whole never to deceive them. And those course of management on the part whom it is thought necessary to of their friends, is often characterconfine, are not doomed to the ized throughout by an absence of cheerlessness and disgrace of the candor and veracity. cell of the felon, but they are placed The tendency of such a course in as agreeable circumstances as is is invariably to increase insanity, consistent with safety. And it has making it more intense and obsti. come to be an established rule with nate. And not only so, but it mod. those who have the care of the ifies to a greater or less degree insane, that force is always prefera- its character. Deception prompts ble to deception. But still, erro- the insane man to exercise his ingenuity in forming plans to foil and treats
treats are joint-stock institutions, circumvent his deceivers, whom he and the stockholders are chiefly lawsupposes very naturally to be his yers and doctors and ministers. And enemies. Of course, new feelings it's good stock too. Just see how and thoughts are thus excited in his much they charge for board-full bosom, giving in some measure a double at least of the actual expennew cast to his insanity.
ses. I need not tell you any thing We will here relate a case that about it however, for you own some illustrates these remarks.
of this stock, and you know how The friends of an insane gentle- profitable it is to you.' man determined to send him to a Oh no,' said I, this is all new to Retreat by stratagem.
For this me.' He looked at me as if he purpose, he was induced by one of would look me through. He had them to go a journey with him. On been deceived so much, that he betheir way, his friend proposed to lieved, he trusted no one. Although him to visit an Insane Retreat as a 1 gave him the most positive asmatter of curiosity. When they ar- surances that I owned no such stock, rived there, he was given to under- still, in spite of the confidence which stand that he was to remain as an he ordinarily reposed in me, he inmate. Great was his rage at be- showed that he did after all suspect ing so grossly deceived. After the me on this point, so firmly was this first burst of indignation was passed, notion about Retreats fastened in he saw that it was of no use to say his mind. He went on to give his any thing or to make any resistance. reasons for his opinion. He was a shrewd man, and there- • I can look back,' said he, to fore, as a matter of policy, he sub- my very childhood, and see that mitted with apparent cheerfulness from that time to the present, there to his new situation. He did not has been a series of efforts on the forget, as the insane sometimes for- part of these stockholders to make tunately do, the wrong which his me a crazy man; and they at length friends had done him, and as he succeeded, and then contrived the was decoyed there by stratagem, it mean plan of tricking me into one is no wonder that he at length made of their Retreats. The minister his escape by stratagem also. He that I lived with when I was ten came out, as might have been ex- years old began this scheme, and pected, with his insanity more thor- all the ministers and lawyers and oughly fixed than it was when he doctors that I have had any thing went in, and he added to it a deep to do with since that time, have had hatred of Retreats, and of course a hand in it-have exerted their inof the man who had betrayed him fluence on me, all in relation to this into one.
one object. It's a regular moneyAnother attempt was made to making business. Of course the carry him to the same Retreat, which stockholders all want to see these from mismanagement utterly failed. Retreats well tilled up. The insane man was victorious, and how they have treated me lately. he felt himself to be so over his They have combined to cross my friends, who he supposed were bent purposes, break up my plans, deupon cheating and oppressing him. feat my projects, ruin my business, All this not only made him more and all this to irritate and disappoint crazy, but it gave a new shape to me, and thus craze me. And then, his insane ideas. In a conversation to cap the whole, they lied to me which I chanced to have with him, and betrayed me into their prison to he said to me, 'It is perfectly evi- die a slow death, paying them all dent, doctor, that these Insane Re- the time about twelve dollars a Vol. III.
week. Good stock, doctor, but a benefits to them, is materially imcruel business,' said he, with a most paired, often even destroyed by unearthly grin, and a shudder that such deception. And this effect is shook his whole frame. “But thank unfortunately not confined to those heaven,' cried he, • I've escaped who practice it, but the imputation their clutches. Though they have rests upon others. The distrust ruined me, they shan't have their thus produced often exerts a depresstwelve dollars a week out of me. ing influence in those cases where No, I'll die first. Such systematic, the cordial influence of hope is most cheating, lying oppression, I'll resist urgently needed, and where it can to the death.'
be administered in consonance with It is evident that the treatment the most scrupulous veracity. It is which this man received at the hands well if under such circumstances, of his friends, tended to aggravate, the physician can appeal to the painstead of lessen his insanity. And tieni's own experience of his frank. we may remark too, that the notion ness in all his previous intercourse which he derived from this treat with him. ment in relation to Retreats, false as I call to mind an instance in it was, was founded on more plausi- which I was able to make this apble reasons, as they were presented peal with the most marked good efto his mind, than are some of the fect. The patient was a lady who opinions that are adopted by some was in a great state of alarm in resane men in the community. gard to the probable result of her
Fifthly. The general effect of sickness. She was indeed very sick, deception, aside from the individual but there was good reason to hope which it is supposed it will benefit, that remedies would relieve her. is injurious. The considerations on At the same time I feared that the which we have already remarked, depressing effect of this state of have had regard entirely to the per. alarm, if it should continue, would son that is deceived, and we think prove a serious obstacle to her rethat we have shown most clearly, covery. But as I expressed to her that even taking this narrow view of the confident hope that she would the influence of deception, it is in get well, she said to me, Phyalmost all cases a bad influence; sicians always talk in this way, and and therefore as we can not tell in you do not really mean as you say. what cases this influence will be good, I shall die, I know that I shall die.” it is impolitic, and should be entire- I had been the physician of ly discarded. We now go farther, the family for many years, during and looking beyond the individuals which time they had gone through who are the subjects of the decep some trying scenes of sickness. tion, we see its influence extending Alluding to all this, I asked her if all around from these individuals, she could look back and call to mind as so many radiating points of in- a single instance in which I had fluence, leavening the whole mass not dealt candidly and frankly with of society with a most poisonous her. She allowed that she could leaven. It is not an influence that not. “Well,” said I, “believe can be shut up in the case of any me now; I am in earnest; I do individual, in that one breast, or believe, and confidently too, that within that one chamber of sickness. you will recover.” The tears were
That confidence, which should at once wiped away. Cheerfulness, always exist in the intercourse of the cheerfulness of hope, lighted the sick with their physicians and up her countenance, and the case friends, and which may be made went on to a speedy and full rethe channel of great and essential covery.
Every day we see evidence of extent or length of time they will the fact that so large a proportion grow ! of the medical profession practice We need barely say in concluding deception upon the sick, that the our remarks on this consideration, profession, as a whole, has to a that the momentary good which ocgreater or less degree the imputation casionally results to individual cases fastened upon it. Indeed patients from deception, is not to be put in often, as a matter of course, make comparison, for one moment, with the distinction between the obliga- the vast and permanent evils of a tions to professional veracity, and general character, that almost unithose of the man as a man in his formly proceed from a breach of ordinary intercourse ; and the phy. the great law of truth. And there sician who has an established repu- is no warrant to be found for shuttation for the strictest veracity ev. ting our eyes to these general and ery where else but in the sick cham- remote results, in our earnestness to ber, has there the suspicion of de- secure a particular and present ception put upon him, and it is sup. good, however precious that good posed to be no imputation of which may be a plain principle, and yet he should complain, because decep. how often it is disregarded. tion is allowed here almost by gen.
Sixthly. If it be adopted by the eral permission. For this reason, community as a common rule, that whatever of frankness and honesty the truth may be sacrificed in urgent there may be in our intercourse with cases, the very object of the decepthe sick, often fails to produce the tion will be defeated. For why is effect intended, in part at least if not it that deception succeeds in any wholly. And this result follows case? It is because the patient sup. just in proportion to the extent to poses that all who have intercourse which deception is made use of in with him deal with him truthfully, the profession.
that no such common rule has been The indirect and collateral effects adopted. There is even now, while of deception are often manifest in the policy on this subject is unseta family of children. Its influence tled and matter of dispute, enough extends beyond the mind and char. distrust produced to occasion trou. acter of the deceived child. If the ble. And if it should become a other children witness the deception, settled policy under an acknow. what hinders them from 'believing ledged common rule, the result that their parents can deceive them would be general distrust, of course whenever it suits their convenience ? defeating deception at every point. And if they do not witness it, the And yet if it be proper to deceive, sick child will remember it when he then most clearly is it proper to recovers, and the rebellion which proclaim it as an adopted principle he has, in consequence, in his bosom of action. Else we are driven to towards an authority that rules by the absurd proposition, that while deceit, and is therefore deemed with it is right to practice deception, it good reason oppressive, is of course is wrong to say to the world that it communicated to the other bosoms is right. of the little flock. Many a parent, It is in vain to say that the evil who supposed that he was doing result which would attend this adop. nothing that would last beyond the tion of occasional deception, as the present moment, has thus sown the settled policy of the medical profes, seeds of rebellion among the little sion, would find a correction in the band of subjects, over whom God very terms of the rule which should has placed him; and who can tell be adopted, viz. that the case must what the fruits will be, or to what be an urgent one to warrant decep,
tion, and there must be a fair pros- each individual case. pect that it can be carried through never know at the time how great without discovery. For every pa. is the sacrifice which you are maktient, that was aware of the adop- ing for a present good. While you tion of such a rule, might and often may be thinking that you are only probably would suspect that his own sacrificing your own veracity, and case is considered as coming within that the influence of the act will not the terms of the rule.
extend beyond the passing moment, Seventhly. Once open the door you may be producing disastrous refor deception, and you can prescribe sults upon the interests of others, for it no definite limits. Every one and those results may be both lastis to be left to judge for himself. ing and accumulative. A man who And as present good is the object was captured by some Indians, was for which the truth is to be sacrifi. asked by them if there were any ced, the amount of good, for which white men in the neighborhood. it is proper to do it, can not be fixed He told them that there
and upon with any exactness. Each directed them to a spot where he one is left to make his own estimate, was very certain that there were and the limit is in each one's private none. They immediately started judgment, in each individual case in pursuit, leaving him bound and as it arises. And the limit, which in the charge of one of their numis at first perhaps quite narrow, is ber. When they were gone, he apt to grow wider, till the deception contrived to make his escape. Almay get to be of the very worst and most every one would say, that this most injurious character. I will give was a strong case, and that they a single illustration of this remark, could not blame him for telling a which, though not taken from the falsehood to Indians, in order to espractice of medicine, is appropriate cape from their cruelty. Here was to our purpose. It has always been a great good to be obtained, the save allowed in the laws of war, to de. ing himself from torture, perhaps ceive the enemy by stratagems, false from death, and deceiving savages lights, &c. At one time some Eng, for such a purpose, it will be said, lish ships in two or three instances, is not to be condemned. But mark decoyed the enemy by counterfeit- the result of that deception. Five ing signals of distress. The decep- white men were found on the spot tion in this case is productive indi- to which he directed them, and were rectly of the very worst consequen- captured. ces, for it manifestly tends to pre- In order to make out a justificavent relief from being afforded to tion of deception, on the ground of those, who are actually in a distresse expediency in any case, all the posed condition. Our feelings of hu- sible results, direct and indirect, manity instinctively condemn such must be taken into the account. But a stratagem, and yet it is only a this is impossible except to omnis. mere extension of that deception, cience itself. Even in those cases which has been by common consent which appear the most clear to us, allowed in war. It involves no dif- there may be consequences of the ferent principles, and is only more most grave character utterly hidden objectionable, because it produces from our view. In the instance just worse indirect results. It differs in related, the captive was very certain, degree only and not in kind. from some circumstances, that he
So it is with deception always. directed his captors to a spot where Its indirect effects are always bad there were no white men. to some extent, and to what extent The uncertainty of our knowledge they will prove so we know not in of the circumstances of each case