The hospital that put people into a coma as a treatment
By Esther Inglis-Arkell | io9
Doctor Harry Bailey promised people that he could cure them of drug addiction, depression, schizophrenia, anorexia, and nearly anything else. Then he sedated them for weeks. And he kept this up for 17 years.
Chelmsford Hospital’s deep sleep ward was a quiet place to work. Aside from the staff, and the occasional visitor, everyone at the Australian private hospital ward was unconscious all the time. The doctor in charge, Harry Bailey, believed that a "long rest" was the ideal way to heal anyone of anything. Prolonged spells of unconsciousness would allow the brain to unlearn destructive patterns, and so would cure people with schizophrenia, PMS, or depression. It would also help people break out of unhealthy behavioral patterns, like drug addiction, anorexia, or compulsive behavior. And if you wanted to take off a few pounds, deep sleep therapy could help with that as well.
His philosophy resulted in two deaths a year inside his hospital, every year, for nearly two decades. Between 1962 and 1979, about two people a year failed to wake up from the coma that massive doses of barbituates put them in. Others died or were injured due to the electroconvulsive therapy that was performed on them while they were unconscious but without the muscle relaxers that would keep them from moving due to the shock. Others were injured by the sheer lack of motion.
Depending on who you ask, the death toll due to the therapy is in the low 20s or the high 80s. Some patients went on to die of illnesses that may have been caused by their time in Chelmsford. A high percentage of the deep sleep patients went on to kill themselves. Others just had terrible experiences. While the luckiest patients went to sleep and woke up missing no time, others experienced hallucinations and woke up covered in their own urine and feces. While some visitors said the deep sleep ward was peaceful, others talked about how it was filled with constant incoherent moaning.
Read the full article at: io9.com
Reasons for admission to an insane asylum from the late 1800s
Abandoned Suitcases Reveal Private Lives of Insane Asylum Patients
Archaeologists Discover 20,000 ‘Lost Souls of Bedlam’ Under London Streets
You’re As Evil as Your Social Network: What the Prison Experiment Got Wrong
The US wartime experiment that starved men almost to death
Don’t Get Sick! Hospital errors kill more Germans than traffic accidents
Chinese Hospital: Bring us the blood of 100 virgins!
The Form and Function of Medieval Hospitals
Eerie dilapidated hospital on abandoned North Brother Island: Haunting pictures show where ’Typhoid Mary’ was forced to live in isolation for 30 years
Researcher finds way to calm fears during sleep
Latest News from our Front Page
Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North.
The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night.
A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked.
The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough.
Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield.
Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants
Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July.
The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are.
London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race.
Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event.
|More News » |