Soviet Union Patients' Rights: An end to abuses?

An end to abuses?

One of the most chilling by-products of the Kremlin's aversion to protest has been its use of the Soviet mental-health-care system as an instrument for suppressing dissent. An untold number of dissidents have been clapped into mental hospitals and sometimes kept under control with mind-numbing drugs. , Now, under Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of glasnost, or openness, Soviet psychiatric practices are finally getting what could prove to be a cathartic airing. Amid demands for reform, the Soviet press has begun printing stories of abuse, corruption and incompetence within the psychiatric establishment. On the political front, Western analysts note that since last spring,...

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