Medicine: Hospitals Without Locks

In Western countries, mental hospitals are big and numerous—yet crowded beyond capacity; they cost too much—yet cannot get enough psychiatrists to staff them. The solution to these paradoxes, says British Psychiatrist Joshua Bierer: tear down most of the hospitals.

With a prophet's zeal, the modern Joshua who wants the walls to come tumbling down has preached his doctrine more than 120 times in the last three months to hundreds of U.S. and Canadian psychiatrists and mental health workers. Many of his hearers sputtered, "You don't really mean it!" But Dr. Bierer does. He seriously...

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