“This was a very important person,” he said. “I think she died because she thought it was true.”
The 1970s, when the country was discharging hundreds of thousands of patients from public mental hospitals, was the era of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a move hailed as a positive change. But Dr. Tory warns that many former patients are left to wander the city streets without treatment, describing them in his book as “the inner-city legions of hell.”
He remembered a woman he met while treating patients at a homeless shelter in Washington, DC. A girl who lost her arm after brutally attacking her daughter at the hospital where he worked, refused to take her medication after being discharged.
“I said, ‘There is something very wrong with this system,'” he said. “Why is this woman allowed to be completely psychotic again?”
It was unusual for a psychiatrist to take such a tough stance against the deinstitutionalization that has been celebrated by liberals. Over the years, according to Dr. Torrey, his arguments gained more support from conservatives, Wall Street Journal.
He continued to challenge all power centers of the profession.he blamed the National Institute of Mental Health For funding too little research For the treatment of debilitating disorders such as schizophrenia. He clashed with the National Psychiatric Alliance over advocating a commitment to outpatients. He refused to pay dues to a local chapter of the American Psychiatric Association, a protest against spending on lobbyists, and was expelled, he said.
“I am a longtime friend and colleague of Fuller, and he caused a great deal of pain to institutional psychiatry,” said Dr. John Talbot, 87, former president of the American Psychiatric Association. rice field. He finds that friction has culminated in deinstitutionalization. “Fuller was one of the few people who said it was a big mistake from the beginning. In part, he said it for his sister.