Wrongful confinement

Author: Henry Monro

Title: Articles on Reform in Private Asylums (London: John Churchill, 1852)

Keywords: insanity, boundaries, degrees, civil responsibility, medical proprietor, Comissioners, liberty, science,

Pages: Introduction |  1  |   2  |   3  |   4  |  5  |   6  | 


Henry Monro (1817-1891) was a renowned nsineteenth-century psychological physician, who published several texts on insanity as well as Annual Reports in his capacity as Asylum superintendant at St. Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics in London. In this article, Monro is clearly responding to the debates about impropriety and corruption of asylum superintendants which often followed the exposure of cases of wrongful confinement in private lunatic asylums. Monro vociferously defends the superintendant or medical proprietor of the private lunatic asylum.

This article not only reveals the fragile professional standing of medical men involved in the private treatment of lunacy, but also the clear conflict between medical and legal interpretations of insanity. Monro’s text also shows how the meaning and thus boundaries of insanity shifted as they passed between the asylum, the courtroom, and even the newspaper.

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