Full text: Problems in eugenics

F. W. Mott. Medicine and Eugenics. 4°S 
there is a widespread belief that insanity is greatly on the increase. 
If we look at the accompanying Fig. x it will be observed that while 
the population of the county of London has been nearly stationary, 
registered insanity has practically doubled. It will be observed that 
pauperism also showed a marked rise for 10 years, while it has fallen for 
the last three years, but although there has been this fall in pauperism 
during the last three years there has been a steady rise in registered insanity. 
It might be thought, therefore, there was no correlation between pauperism 
and insanity. This is not so. No doubt the fall in the curve of pauperism 
has been due to old-age pensions. Now, old-age pensions will not affect 
registerable insanity in London the same as it will in rural and urban 
districts where the housing conditions are more favourable for the retention 
at home of old-age pensioners suffering from senile decay. Twenty per 
cent, of the admissions to the London asylums are old people, most of them 
suffering with senile decay. The great increase of insanity, in my opinion, 
is apparent rather than real, and for the following three reasons :_ 
Firstly, the standard of sanity has been raised; a great number of 
harmless idiots and feeble-minded persons who were formerly allowed to

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