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Midterm

HIST 3130 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Lunacy Act 1845, Bridgewater State Hospital, Josephine ButlerPremium

11 pages153 viewsFall 2015

Department
History
Course Code
HIST 3130
Professor
Linda Mahood
Study Guide
Midterm

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HIST*3130 MIDTERM 2 OUTLINE
The Verdict: Expertise, Certainty, and Partisanship
Medical experts were rarely biased in court because they were professional and didn’t want to
sabotage their reputations, elite doctors stayed away from participating in court cases
When experts were biased, court was hostile to them and they were disregarded as good evidence
Judges liked when experts provided experiments to prove higher certainty (ex. Infanticide: put
baby in water, if it floats it had air in its lungs, determining it was alive at one point)
Increased emphasis on certainty bc: 1. growing insistence on proof beyond reasonable doubt –
heightened burden in order to convict 2. devaluation of estimated worth of direct testimony –
reasons for this devaluation include awareness of monetary/penal inducements to false testimony
Professional Authority (Physicians, Apothecary, Midwife, Judges)
Physicians – doctors denigrated the work done by women in asylum management and
administration in order to upgrade the status of the psychiatric profession
Matrons and female nurses and attendants were paid on a much lower scale than male workers,
were regarded as less reliable, and were subject to more rules and restrictions
Any establishment licensed to receive lunatics had to be visited regularly by (male) physician
9 psychiatrists testified in case of Daniel M’Naughten, some for prosecution, some for defence
29 y/o Scottish labourer, arrested for firing bullet in back of Robert Drummond who he believed
was Sir Robert Peel... delusional about gov trying to steal his property & turn friends against him
Defense: killed Drummond in light of day without escape plan
Crown: must be sane because he had a successful woodworking business
Judge & jury returned after 2 minutes and found M’Naughten not guilty by reason of insanity
Demonstrated the persuasiveness of psychiatric testimony
Apothecary/early pharmacists experimented with drugs & herbs on people with distemperment
Was not regulated, but people would go to apothecary for treatment before going to a physician
Midwife – by advocating medical monopoly of treatment of the insane, women were forced into
marginal, secondary, or charitable roles, (as rising profession of obstetrics demoted midwifery)
Commissioners of Lunacy Report, 1859: considered granting new licenses only to medical men
Women applicants were thereafter discouraged, although not always refused
Judges – during latter half of 18th century, judges had relinquished the role of inquisitor and
parties had become ever more clearly responsible for production and questioning of witnesses
Lunatics Act, 1845
Required all counties to provide adequate asylum accommodation for pauper lunatics, defined as
persons whose maintenance came wholly or in part from public funds
Paupers were usually sent to the workhouse, to public hospitals such as Bedlam, or to private
madhouses in which conditions were appalling and treatment was notoriously cruel
Wealthy patients were often cared for at home or in the more luxurious private madhouses
Significance:
Transformed institutional care of the insane (changed status of the mentally ill to patients)
Along with County Asylums Act, formed mental health law in England and Wales
Implemented the incarceration of the insane model
Confusion when dealing with insane children, was no age limit on who admitted into asylums
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Commission on Lunatic Asylums
As late as 1844, the Commissioners in Lunacy found lunatics confined in dark and reeking cells,
strapped down to their beds or to chairs
Visitors to Bedlam paid their pennies to see howling maniacs, naked and chained, alien creatures
in whom irrationality and filth had reached the extremes of the recognizably human
Commission meant to:
Monitor conditions in the asylums & treatment of patients
Monitor treatment/mental state of patients who couldn't be removed from prisons/workhouses
Mania and Melancholia
Women were often diagnosed with “mania” and “melancholia” (sickly & sickening)
These were considered mental disorders, and they were sent to asylums
Mania = mental disorder - periods of excitement, euphoria, delusions, over-activity
Melancholia = deep sadness, depression
“Predisposition for Derangement”
Women were naturally predisposed to madness
Psychology of the ovary: women controlled by their ovaries from cradle to grave, (men by brain)
Women had to conserve energy during puberty to avoid ill effects, should not receive education
because excessive studying would stress ovaries causing flat chested-ness & unattractiveness
Nymphomania: women who experiences too many climaxes
Magdalenism: young girls who hung out with boys and defied parental authority
Lactation insanity: women who produced too much breast milk after childbirth
Perpetual insanity: what is referred to today as postpartum depression
Menopause climacteric insanity: women undergoing menopause that were in love w/ young men
Old Maid’s Mania: woman’s unrequited love for a clergyman
Significance:
Insanity linked to uterus – women who acted outside of norm often labeled “mad”
Madness was gendered, women subjected to more medical diagnoses than men on the basis of
their sex and the gender norms of the time (all illnesses listed above only applied to women)
Isaac Baker Brown, Obstetrical Society of London
Brown practised clitoridectomy (surgical removal of clitoris) as cure for female insanity
All cases of female insanity (except alcoholism/hereditary) were “failures of nervous power”
produced by “peripheral irritation arising in branches of pubic nerve, particularly the clitoris”
Brown was convinced that masturbation was primary cause of madness, assumed it made women
unwilling to fulfill conjugal obligations, & symptoms of female insanity manifested at puberty
First operation 1859, removed clitoris of 26 y/o unwed dressmaker who suffered digestive issues
Brown urged clitoridectomy for women seeking divorce (make them more
contented/manageable)
In 1860s, Brown's sexual surgery often went beyond clitoridectomy to the removal of
labia too
Significance:
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Because of Brown’s unfortunate obsession, sexual surgery was ultimately less frequently
practised in nineteenth-century England than in France, Germany, or the United States, where the
last recorded clitoridectomy took place in 1924
Vladimir vs. Dr. Ross
Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane
Vladimir has been transferred from Boston prison to a mental health facility for observation and
is convinced that Bridgewater is making him ill and begs to be transferred back to the prison
Dr. Ross is convinced that if Vladimir is sent back to prison today, Vladimir would be sent back
to Bridgewater today or tomorrow
Vladimir fights experts (parole board, prison director, guard, psychiatrist, doctor, social worker)
Diagnosis – although Vladimir may be improving, best thing to do is to increase his medication
Significance:
Foucault: Reason goes to prison and unreason goes to the asylum
Asylums implemented total surveillance and judgment
Moral authority of psychiatrist reigns supreme, solidified the absolute authority of psychiatrist
Royal Company of Barbers and Surgeons
1541 precedent established: grant which provided for the right of the Royal Company of Barbers
and Surgeons annually to dissect four executed felons
1752 murder act: intended to deter capital crime… murder becoming so perpetrated that some
further terror had to be added to punishment of death, so this act freed up bodies to be dissected
if they were unclaimed, leads to people hanging around hallows to collect the dead (for profit)
Barbers & surgeons considered similar occupation because both worked with scissors and knives
Low status occupation, but surgeons became associated with physicians and medical science
1540s, there was a struggle between barbers and surgeons for legitimacy and power
Surgeons gained legitimacy by being affiliated with medical science
Body-Snatching
Experience dissecting became prerequisite to becoming doctor in Britain (before dissection was
limited to demonstration in medical school), dissection = need for cadavers = profitable market
Med schools depend on tuition, tuition came from students who expected cadavers to practice on
Increasing competition for students quickly exhausted supply of cadavers provided by the assizes
Body snatchers were usually graveyard staff, dissecting room staff, med students & teachers
(permission to exhume recently buried criminal was usually granted & not given much publicity)
Initially, illegal procurement of cadavers was neither well organized nor a large scale operation
Body snatcher methods simply involved bribing sexton for permission to exhume recently buried
unclaimed pauper/criminal who usually was placed within 2-3 feet of ground surface (“poppers”)
Mob action to protect bodies grew in popularity due to the disgrace of anatomical dissection
(unclaimed bodies being given to surgeons angered people as they believed strongly in the
importance of a Christian burial, lead to Tyburn riot)
Internal structure of medical profession redone: top of hierarchy = Royal College of Physicians
of London (not based on med knowledge but political favors), second = Surgeons/Physicians
(most affected by cadaver shortage, rampant corruption, had to protect their professional status)
Significance:
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