Behavior: The End of Bedlam?

Once there was Bedlam, where curious Londoners could while away an afternoon by staring and laughing at the insane, who were kept in chains, writhing and screaming. Over the centuries, the treatment of the mentally ill has slowly improved. Yet just this month, an official inquiry into cruelty at a Lancashire mental hospital described how patients were locked in closets for being "mischievous," how they were half-strangled with wet towels if they became violent, and how one victim had been injured when male nurses filled his dressing-gown pocket with alcohol and then set it afire.

According to a new plan drawn up...

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