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Free the mentally disabled from their chains | Updated: 2013-07-12 23:24

Recent reports reveal a large number of mentally disabled people in China who live in chains at home due to lack of medical assistance. The government should offer financial aid to those who cannot help themselves, said an editorial in Beijing News (excerpts below).

Reports show that a large number of mentally disabled people are chained at home for safety — there are as many as 100,000 in Hebei province alone.

The primary reason for this is money — or the lack thereof. Families that live in the rural regions cannot afford proper medical treatment.

Actually, the revised Law on Mental Health, announced in May, clearly states that the local government is responsible for offering help. The law should judge whether the officials have performed their duty.

Obviously, some departments have not. It is time they correct their wrongdoings by offering medical assistance for those in need, as well as financial aid for those who cannot afford their living expenses. It is the government's basic duty to free the mentally disabled from their chains.

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