Joseph Wortis, editor MENTAL RETARDATION AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, AN ANNUAL REVIEW, VOL. VIII New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1976, 352 pp., $1735.
The eighth volume in this important series, all edited by Dr. Wortis, accurately reflects and updates the major topics of concern in the field of mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Some of the contributors are represented in previous volumes. The introduction, by Dr. Wortis, is a philosophic overview of the history of intelligence and its relationship to social class during different periods of history.
A new topic in the series is the right to treatment, discussed by Marshall J. Cohen. This is a subject that has dominated the field of mental retardation in the past two years. Several cases and court decisions are presented in detail, and the implications of federal court decisions on state legislation demonstrate that litigation is a formidable tool in the formation of policies for treatment.
A section on genetic counseling by Joseph M. Berg highlights the very recent developments and availability of such services. Social and ethical considerations are stated briefly.
The balance of the presentations, on such topics as hereditary disease, ophthalmology, infections in residential institutions, geriatrics, health and longevity, personality, learning, and curriculum development - all by distinguished contributors in these fields - are scholarly and present extensive research data.
Some features of other books are also present in this volume: a chapter on a specific congenital malformation and a review of recent literature from outside the United States - in this case, France. The chronicles of events for 1974-75 give tantalizing highlights of milestones affecting the lives of the mentally retarded.
This volume will be very useful to professionals working in the field. The entire series is an invaluable part of any library on mental retardation and developmental disabilities, because the subjects treated cover every aspect of mental retardation and the progress in available knowledge, treatment, and attitudes is documented.