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date: 23 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

A radical psychiatrist, Franco Basaglia was born in Venice in 1924. He came into contact with phenomenological texts while studying psychiatry at the University of Padua in the 1940s and 1950s. When he became Director of the Psychiatric Hospital in the north-eastern city of Gorizia in 1961 he began to apply these ideas to the reform of the hospital. Wards were opened, walls knocked down (by the patients), and meetings held. Gorizia became a beacon for change in 1968 with the publication of Basaglia’s edited volume L’istituzione negata (The Negated Institution) (Einaudi 1968). A movement developed which culminated in the 1978 “Basaglia Law,” which closed down the entire Italian asylum system.

Keywords: Franco Basaglia, de-institutionalization, radical psychiatry, Italy, asylums, anti-psychiatry, Gorizia

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