Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Review

How mad are we?

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2641 (Published 19 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2641

"Please, sir, I want some more." (Oliver Twist)

Regarding most institutions, it has been said that the wrong people have the
keys. This cynical remark has much truth and raises questions about the
legitimacy of our institutions. Oftentimes, luck and circumstances determine
who runs the institution and who resides in the institution. I propose that we
re-think the whole issue of institutions, including prisons, mental hospitals,
and orphanages. These institutions are a blot on society, and their residents
deserve much better treatment than they receive. Surely, society can develop
more humane ways of dealing with unfortunate people, who are often unable to
change their dysfunctional lifestyles.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

01 December 2008
Hugh Mann
Physician
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA