October 28, 2011
Learn From Past Mistakes
In today’s society there is a lot more constructive time and effort put forth to study the immense variety of mental illnesses doctors are aware of and even those yet to be discovered than there was only seventy years ago. There are several classifications and degrees of competence and incompetence when it comes to diseases of the mind. There are not only institutions for individuals considered to have severe cases of mental illness that provide around the clock care, but schools and even special programs directed to the advancement and maintenance of those still functioning in everyday society with mental illness. Doctors and scientists that are extraordinarily knowledgeable about mental illness are devoted to uncovering as much information as possible to assist anyone with a mental illness in today’s society. In the 1930s however, with the country consumed by the Great Depression, money was scarce, many were faced with famine and discrimination was very much part of every day life. People were forced to fend for themselves. Not only was there still gender and racial discrimination running rampant in our country, there was discrimination against those with mental inabilities. It is highly unlikely there were many institutions, let alone special schools with programs to assist those considered mentally ill and still fully functional. Medical professionals did not have the knowledge or the medical advancements in technology to asses the illnesses they would face. Therefore, people began to overcrowd institutions that were available to the point of flooding the general hospitals. Thus humans began to be subjects in many clinical studies and guinea pigs in a sense for new, later to be discovered just mildly effective, clinical research and procedures. With little funding available, few institutions, and a lack of knowledge, there were not many options for anyone either severely affected or fully... [continues]
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