Monday, April 23, 2007

The Legacy of the Closure of Mental Hospitals

In today's OpinionJournal, Jonathan Kellerman, M.D. considers "Why the Virginia Tech shooter was not committed." Dr. Kellerman is clinical professor of pediatrics and psychology at USC's Keck School of Medicine and the author of 27 crime novels and three books on psychology. He convincingly argues that the anti-asylum movement of the 1970s, which emptied out mental hospitals, for the most part leaving profoundly disturbed people to fend for themselves on the street, is responsible not only for the inability of Society to pre-emptively hospitalize mentally ill persons who pose a potential threat, such as the Virginia Tech shooter, but also for our "Homeless Problem."

Note how Dr. Kellerman avoids mentioning the Virginia Tech killer's name in his column. NBC could learn restraint from him.


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