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The Problem of Mental DeficiencyEugenics, Democracy, and Social Policy in Britain,
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Mathew Thomson

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206927.001.0001

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(p.297) Conclusion
The Problem of Mental Deficiency

Mathew Thomson

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter sums up the key findings of this study about the development and implementation of policies to address the mental deficiency problem in Great Britain from 1870 to 1959. Parliament passed the Mental Deficiency Act in 1939 and the Mental Health Act in 1959 to address the problem, and several strategies were proposed and utilized to treat and manage mental deficiency including segregation, sterilization, and community care. It highlights the impact of the formation of the Welfare State and the role of the voluntary sector in the development of mental deficiency policy.

Keywords:   mental deficiency, Great Britain, Mental Deficiency Act, Mental Health Act, Welfare State, sterilization, segregation, community care

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