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Mental handicap and the general practitioner


The condition in which a lack of intelligence may interfere with the competence of an individual to care for himself is officially called ‘subnormality’ (‘mental deficiency’ in Scotland), but generally the term ‘mental handicap’ is used. The Mental Health Act of 1959 defines subnormality mainly in terms of the needs for medical treatment and training, and severe subnormality in sociological terms. The clinical and educational assessment is customarily supplemented by the intelligence test, to categorise the mentally handicapped.

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