There is but little to be said with reference to head injuries which, like other injuries resulting in either disability or death, have become common as a result of the great modern development of industries, means of transportation, etc. It may be pointed out, however, that in the United States, owing, probably, to imperfect legislative protection, serious accidents are needlessly frequent, as may be judged from the example furnished by American and British railroad statistics. These, for the year 1906,1 are given in the following table:
1 Articles by L. W. Harrison and C. N. Fiske in A System of Syphilis, edited by Power and Murphy. London, 1910. Vol. VI, pp. 137 and 308. - M. F. Gates. The Prophylaxis of Gonorrhoea. The Therapeutic Gazette, Jan., 1911.
2 Fournier. The Treatment and Prophylaxis of Syphilis. English translation by C. F. Marshall. New York, 1907. P. 447.
Total number of passengers carried. . ..
Total miles of track..................
Number of collisions and derailments.. .
Number of passengers killed...
Number of passengers injured...
Number of employes killed...
Number of employees injured...
It has already been said that an individual, who comes from normal stock, abstains from alcohol and habit-forming drugs, is free from syphilis, and escapes accidental head injury, is not threatened with mental disorder.
It is not so with the neuropathic individual: for him every feature of life in society presents possible dangers. From childhood up the adjustment between him and his environment must be nicely controlled if the danger of a mental breakdown is to be minimized; his bringing-up at home, his education at school, his sexual life, his career, his social and family relations are great matters for special adjustment, particularly with the ends in view of proper habit training, avoidance of the incidental causes referred to in the chapter on Etiology as possessing quasi-specific potency in the production of mental alienation, and prompt institution of treatment upon the appearance of any symptoms.
1 J. O. Fagan. Confessions of a Railroad Signalman. Boston and New York, 1908.
The importance for this country of immigration in connection with the problems of the prevalence and prevention of mental disorders has already been pointed out in the chapter on Etiology. Although the conclusion has been drawn that there is no evidence to show that there is a greater proneness toward mental disease in the foreign-born than in the native population, this is not to be construed as arguing in favor of relaxing the efforts of keeping out all mentally defective immigrants; on the contrary, whether mental disease be relatively frequent or rare among immigrants, the welfare of this country demands that defective persons be prevented from entering and remaining in it and that the facilities for their detection and deportation be perfected and increased rather than reduced. On the other hand, a policy of general restriction of immigration, such as has been advocated by some, would seem to be unnecessary and unjustified as far as the interests of eugenics and mental hygiene in this country are concerned.