A Brief Tour of Bedlam

April 10, 2015 4:43 PM

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One prominent cure kept patients in bed for months, force-fed a high-calorie diet and denied any occupation.

It was “like a scene out of Dante’s Inferno,” historian and investigative journalist Albert Deutsch recalled after visiting the male “incontinent ward” at Philadelphia’s Byberry State Hospital in the late 1940s. In one room, “three hundred nude men stood, squatted, and sprawled . . . amid shrieks, g...

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