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Madness at HomeThe Psychiatrist, the Patient, and the Family in England, 1820-1860$
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Akihito Suzuki

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520245808

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520245808.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

The Problems of Liberty and Property

The Problems of Liberty and Property

(p.65) Three The Problems of Liberty and Property
Madness at Home

Akihito Suzuki

University of California Press

This chapter turns to the ideological aspects of psychiatric practice and investigates the patterns of psychiatrists' conceptualization of their role vis-à-vis families' concerns about the protection of their property. In the immediate aftermath of the Davies case, there were calls to rethink the psychiatrist's relationship with the patient and the family, especially in the context of commissions of lunacy. The chapter examines three forms of reaction, which were all responses to the crisis in psychiatry brought about by the fall of the most eminent practitioner in the field. They were: an unpublished paper read at the Royal College of Physicians in 1830–31, which reinforced the conservative and gentlemanly role of the guardian of family property; The Indications of Insanity (1830) by John Conolly, then a professor of medicine at University College London; and the writings of Charles Dunne, a radical entrepreneur and lecturer who had received a medical education in Paris. These reactions proposed different programs to recast psychiatric practice, inspired by different ideologies and concerns. The chapter also examines J. C. Prichard's concept of “moral insanity.” First formulated in a publication in 1833, Prichard's newly formulated diagnostic category provided an escape route from the catch-22 in which psychiatrists found themselves, by endorsing the old family-dependent diagnostic pattern and, at the same time, insisting that the diagnosis was a scientific one.

Keywords:   psychiatrists, psychiatric practice, property protection, families, J. C. Prichard, moral insanity, diagnosis

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