§ Mr. COSTELLO
asked the Minister of Pensions whether there has yet been a discontinuance of the practice of putting pressure on the wife of an ex-service patient in an asylum by the pensions medical officer threatening her with the loss of the whole or part of the dependant's allowance should she wish to exercise the petitioner's right of directing a discharge in cases where the patient cannot be proved to be dangerous or unfit to be at large?
I assume that the hon. Member has in mind those cases in which, by virtue of the fact that the Ministry has classified the man as a "Service Patient," the responsible relative has the power to insist on his removal even against the considered advice of the 2421W medical superintendent. In such cases there is no question of "threatening" the relative, but it is the practice to inform the relative that should application be made for re-admission of the patient to the asylum (which experience shows frequently happens) the question of re-issuing family treatment allowance must be considered afresh. This procedure is exercised with the greatest discretion, and solely in the interests of the patient's treatment and prospects of recovery.