Sunday, November 01, 2009

What I Learned Part 4


I attended a great lecture on the history of forensic psychiatry.
Prior to 1825 most forensic experts were providing testimony on
relatives or former patients. There was a woman who tried to kill King
George III and was found insane. Benjamin Rush promoted the use of the
"tranquilizing chair".

Homeland Security is moving into the old St. Elizabeth's Hospital.
There's something weirdly appropriate about them being in a
psychiatric facility. James Hadfield killed another patient and later
escaped but was recaptured. Edward Oxford tried to kill Queen Victoria
and was found insane. He was ultimately discharged from the hospital
and immigrated to Australia.

It's estimated that there are150 victims of Munchausen's by proxy
every year. Most victims are under the age of five.

A surprising number of surgeons have performed their own procedures
including appendectomies and herniorhaphies.