WWI Photography US in London detail
WWI Photography Catalog

The Fine Print

« Crowds and the Press of Humanity: WWI German Prisoners, November, 1918 | Main | Simple Sublimity: Images of Disappeared Common Objects. Traffic Lights, 1936 »



John--I think you mentioned a significant clue as to the motivation of some of the medical community in treating the disturbed or insane with narcotics: 1100 patients in a hospital designed for 700.

It would be vital in such an overcrowded situation to calm those who would incite the emotions of others if not prevented from doing so. It becomes about patient control then, not treatment.

I'm sure there were plenty who sought to deliver treatment through the use of narcotically induced sleep because they found it helpful--but the pure motivations weren't the only ones. The folks in charge of large populations of the mentally ill had competing priorities. And, in some cases even today, still do.

The comments to this entry are closed.