In 1918, Emily Murphy wrote a letter to a meeting of the
Alberta Medical Association requesting the appointment of
"psychopathic experts" to enable medical inspectors of
schools to have "sub-normal" children properly classified.
She believed this would enable judges of juvenile courts to
compile reports on mental condition of delinquents and also
allow magistrates to get correct diagnoses of persons
charged with being insane and dangerous—as the physical
exams by general physicians which were done at the time were
Murphy felt "it is indeed a most serious matter to take
away the liberty of any person, and commit him indefinitely
to the provincial hospital without the closest possible
investigation of his or her condition, its cause and
In her letter, Murphy argued that the presence of
"psychopathic experts" was merely humane and would provide
proper diagnosis, leading to the best possible treatment.
She expressed the scientific value of the endeavour and
finished her correspondence by stating that the correct
evaluation resulted in the appropriate remedy being applied,
and the problem effectively solved, preventing the same
problem from being dealt with multiple times.