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urblex

Documentary about psychiatric hospital/patients in america

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May be of interest to some people on here, there's a Louis Theroux documentary on bbc iplayer about an american psychiatric hospital, it is an 'active' one though. Was only half watching it but from what i saw Louis was better with the patients than any of the staff but hey at least the treatment is more humane than in the olden days, still don't think they've got it right yet as mostly relying on medicating the patients but heyho it's better than ESP. Think it's the first in a series, it's called 'louis theroux 23 by reason of insanity part 1' if anyone's interested.

Wouldn't normally condone watching anything on the BBC but Louis is an exception.

Edited by urblex
lousy grammar, as per usual...

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    • By eyevolve


      Built in 1896 and in continuous use until 1995, this pinwheel style quaker prison was a reflection of a similar one located nearby. You can tour that one for a few dollars and take as many pictures as you like. This one was not so easy....
       

       
      It was the site of a controversial decades-long dermatological, pharmaceutical, and biochemical weapons research projects involving testing on inmates.
       

       
      The prison is also notable for several major riots in the early 1970s.


       
      The prison was home to several trials which raised several ethical and moral questions pertaining to the extent to which humans can be experimented on. In many cases, inmates chose to undergo several inhumane trials for the sake of small monetary reward. The prison was viewed as a human laboratory.
      “All I saw before me were acres of skin. It was like a farmer seeing a fertile field for the first time.” Dr. X
       

       
      One inmate described experiments involving exposure to microwave radiation, sulfuric and carbonic acid, solutions which corroded and reduced forearm epidermis to a leather-like substance, and acids which blistered skin in the testicular areas.
       

       
      In addition to exposure to harmful chemical agents, patients were asked to physically exert themselves and were immediately put under the knife to remove sweat glands for examination. In more gruesome accounts, fragments of cadavers were stitched into the backs of inmates to determine if the fragments could grow back into functional organs.
       

       
      So common was the experimentation that in the 1,200-person prison facility, around 80% to 90% of inmates could be seen experimented on.
       

       
      The rise of testing harmful substances on human subjects first became popularized in the United States when President Woodrow Wilson allowed the Chemical Warfare Service (CAWS) during World War I.
       

       
      All inmates who were tested upon in the trials had consented to the experimentation, however, they mostly agreed for incentives like monetary compensation. Experiments in the prison often paid around $30 to $50 and even as much as $800. “I was in prison with a low bail. I couldn’t afford the monies to pay for bail. I knew that I wasn’t guilty of what I was being held for. I was being coerced to plea bargain. So, I thought, if I can get out of this, get me enough money to get a lawyer, I can beat this. That was my first thought.”
       

       
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      Many advocates of the prison trials, such as Solomon McBride, who was an administrator of the prisons, remained convinced that there was nothing wrong with the experimentation at the Holmesburg prison. McBride argued that the experiments were nothing more than strapping patches of cloth with lotion or cosmetics onto the backs of patients and argued this was a means for prisoners to earn an easy income.
       

       
      The negative public opinion was particularly heightened by the 1973 Congressional Hearing on Human Experimentation. The hearing was supposed to discuss the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and clarify the ethical and legal implications of human experimental research. This climate called for a conscious public which rallied against the use of vulnerable populations such as prisoners as guinea pigs. Companies and organizations who associated themselves with human testing faced severe backlash. Amidst the numerous senate hearings, public relation nightmares, and opponents to penal experimentation, county prison boards realized human experimentation was no longer acceptable to the American public. Swiftly, human testing on prisoners was phased out of the United States.
       

       
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      The prison trials violated this definition of informed consent because inmates did not know the nature of materials they were experimented with and only consented due to the monetary reward. America’s shutting down of prison experimentation such as those in the prison signified the compliance of the Nuremberg Code of 1947.
       

       
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    • By WildBoyz
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      Kingseat Hospital opened in 1932. Thereafter, the facility continued to grow and several new buildings were constructed on the site, including a two-storey nurse’s home. By the beginning of 1947, there were over eight hundred patients at the hospital. However, in 1968 a number of nurses at the facility went on strike due to ill treatment and high stress levels. This forced the hospital administration to invite unemployed people and volunteers to assist within the hospital grounds with general domestic tasks. Eventually, the dispute with the nurses was partially resolved and, in the end, normal service resumed. Nevertheless, it should be noted that more nurses are said to have died at Kingseat than patients, due to the high stress levels caused by working in such an emotionally, and physically, draining environment. As one member of staff reported after the closure of Kingseat:
       
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    • By AndyK!
      Padded cells are few and far between now-a-days, so the opportunity to visit one doesn't present itself very often. So rare in fact, that I should imagine this will be the only padded cell I ever get the opportunity to visit, in situ and outside of a museum.
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      Outside of the cell door. The makers plate has been removed.

      Looking through the door into the padded cell

      Inside the cell

      Looking up at the door

      Looking towards the back of the cell

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      “When faith is kneeling by his bed of deathâ€

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