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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the moral/ethical dimensions of psychiatric practice in the United States. It begins with a historical overview of American psychiatry, from the establishment of mental hospitals and asylums to the emergence of institutionalization and the theory of moral treatment. It then turns to a discussion of nineteenth-century initiatives calling for an end to dual responsibility and for the state to assume sole responsibility for persons with severe mental disorders. It also looks at the rise of dynamic psychiatry in the early twentieth century, along with the mental hygiene movement and the introduction of novel therapies such as fever therapy, insulin, metrazol, lobotomy, psychosurgery, and electric shock therapies. Finally, the article considers the transformation of American psychiatry during and after World War II.

Keywords: United States, psychiatry, mental hospitals, asylums, institutionalization, mental disorders, mental hygiene, lobotomy, psychosurgery, electric shock

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