HC Deb 18 August 1919 vol 119 cc1929-30W
Lieut.-Colonel GUINNESS

asked the Pensions Minister whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the provision for the accommodation and general treatment of disabled men in the Southern region of Ireland who have been discharged suffering from neurasthenia and shell-shock; whether accommodation can be found for such invalided men who are on the border line of lunacy, and who, in consequence, must be detained even against their wishes in institutions; whether he is aware that the authorities of the two institutions in the neighbour hood of Dublin are prohibited from detaining men against their wishes, and, therefore, that such institutions are of little value in the case of neurasthenia or shell-shock that borders on lunacy; whether he is aware that in the absence of such accommodation most of the men in question who have no homes are living in lodging-houses, that a few are certified as being potentially dangerous, that the procedure of getting men into an asylum is troublesome and lengthy, and that on more than one occasion before the ad mission of the man to an asylum had been secured friends interested in his welfare had lost sight of him; whether he considers it satisfactory that ex-Service men should be committed to lunatic asylums in Ireland, and treated as paupers in accordance with the lunacy laws as they operate in Ireland; whether provision can be made at once to set up a separate institution for the Southern region of Ireland, to which such cases may be admitted and detained for a time even against the wishes of the patient; and whether the scientific treatment accorded to such cases at the Seale Hale Institution can be introduced into Ireland?


I have no power to keep any man in an institution against his will unless he is certified under the lunacy laws. A man so certified and sent to an asylum in Ire land has hitherto been treated as an ordinary patient, but under a scheme which will come into force at an early date, he will in future be treated as a Service patient. Arrangements are being made to establish a neurological hospital in the South of Ireland for ex-Service men, at which scientific treatment for neurasthenia and shell shock will be provided.

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