Medicine: The Outstretched Hand

Helen Bray was an attendant at California's Pacific Colony State Hospital for retarded children for five years before she decided to take the exam for psychiatric technician. When she did, she placed first. Thereupon, Technician Bray got charge of a sprawling cottage housing 100 youngsters aged one to three.

Half the children were strapped in their cribs to keep them from hurting themselves. "Detail girls" (older patients able to do simple chores) worked on an assembly-line basis: one did nothing but change diapers, another scrubbed floors. Mrs. Bray unstrapped the youngsters and took them out of their cribs. Then she repealed the...

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