Initially, it brought back memories of a number of visits I made to various institutions twenty-five years ago when I first began to work in the field of mental retardation.
Their backgrounds range from those in very high public office to undergraduate college students preparing to be special class teachers. Editors of two of the largest and most influential news magazines previewed and discussed this book with us.
In discussing this work with so many very knowledgeable persons, we were able to resolve some of our anxieties about the possible adverse reaction to the publication of this study.
Further, we were able to conceptualize a plan to correct those conditions we observed. As far as invasion of privacy is concerned, we have learned that -- from a legal point of view -- this is a very ambiguous matter.
Although we were forced to satisfy legal requirements for the insurance of individual's privacy -- hence, the masking of eyes of patients shown in Part I -- we must question privacy on moral grounds.
We believe that the so-called privacy of the back wards of these institutions contributes to suffering, for outsiders do not know the conditions in these buildings and, therefore, do little or nothing to promote improvements.
When privacy contributes to suffering, we must question the ideal of privacy. When privacy contributes to suffering, it loses its significance as a cherished privilege.
For those who could so reason, we do not believe that there would be many in the institutions who would object to our exposure of these frightening conditions if such exposure offered some possibility for a better life for the residents.
Lastly, as we discussed this issue with a number of people we began to wonder whose privacies were being protected, those institutionalized residents or the rest of us? This leads to the second consideration.
In spite of what we wish to know, in spite of the pain that knowing may bring to us, we have the right to be informed about any serious conditions that affect our people. There is a maturity that comes to a people when it no longer needs the protection of ignorance. Only children, with their fantasies, or sick adults, with theirs, believe that ignoring a problem can make it go away.
The core of our proposal was originally presented by Sarason and Gladwin a number of years ago in Sarason's book, Psychological Problems in Mental Deficiency, published by Harper and Bow in The psychological personnel are for the most part geographically, financially, and socially apart from their professional brethren.
The disinterest of behavior science departments psychology, anthropology, sociology, psychiatry in the area of subnormal functioning makes the solution of the problem most difficult.
We must frankly state that we do not have any bright ideas of how to begin to go about remedying the situation. On the assumption that this particular problem will not change markedly in the forseeable future, it might be profitable to consider a program which would allow the institutional worker to go for extended periods to certain centers where there is an active research and training program -- a center where he can possibly learn new skills and content which he could apply to research in his own setting.
This suggestion, however, presupposes that there will be several research centers which can offer this kind of opportunity. An increment in skill and knowledge sufficient to justify this kind of effort can probably not be attained in a one- or two-week workshop, but should rather be viewed as requiring at least a half-year or year training course p.
In addition to the emergency need for at least doubling per capita expenditures in state institutions and for reducing the sizes of institutional populations wherever and however possible, our study of this problem leads to an additional set of recommendations that may contribute to an improvement of institutional programs and facilities: In each state, a board of institutional visitors should be appointed by the governor or other constituted authority.Add tags for "Christmas in purgatory: a photographic essay on mental retardation".
Be the first. Excerpt from: Christmas In Purgatory: A Photographic Essay On Mental Retardation There is a hell on earth, and in America there is a special inferno.
This classic photo essay of legally sanctioned human abuse in state institutions was written and photographed () long before the current right-to-treatment lawsuits on behalf of institutionalized people/5.
Social Construction, Mental Retardation, and the Stories People Tell: An Essay and Review of the Social Construction of Intellectual Disability, by Mark Rapley Gabel, Susan () Dementia, Mental Retardation, and Competency to Make Decisions . Christmas in Purgatory: A Photographic Essay on Mental Retardation Christmas in Purgatory "I believe, like Moses, you can turn the serpent into a rod and learn the lessons which will help you all through life.
Christmas in Purgatory: A Photographic Essay on Mental Retardation Christmas in Purgatory "I believe, like Moses, you can turn the serpent into a rod and learn the lessons which will help you all through life.