Statutes: The State Pays for Welfare

Under the laws of California and most other states, close relatives of a person confined in a state mental institution may be held responsible for part of the hospital expenses—provided they can afford to pay. But last week the status of all such laws was put in doubt.

An elderly woman had been committed to a state institution for mental incompetence. Her only close relative, a daughter, died in 1960, leaving a small estate to a niece. When the state claimed part of the estate to cover the costs of taking care of the old lady, the niece refused to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!