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The First Psychiatric Royal Commission: Reg Ellery and the Attendants at Kew Hospital
Robert M. Kaplan
Health and History
Vol. 16, No. 1 (2014), pp. 45-65
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5401/healthhist.16.1.0045
Page Count: 21
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Psychiatric hospitals, Nurses, Earths Moon, Cruelty, Cottages, Child psychology, Fences, Intellectual disability, Child psychiatry, Political power
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The first Royal Commission into the activities of a psychiatrist took place in Melbourne in 1924, inquiring into misconduct by Dr Reg Ellery at Kew Hospital. Ellery, appalled by the conditions at the Idiot Cottages, had attempted to make improvements for the children. This led to a confrontation with the Attendant's Union—who had been challenging the power of doctors to run the asylums—which met with an unexpected change in Victorian state politics to lead to the establishment of the Royal Commission. Though Ellery was in the end exonerated, his subsequent treatment by the Lunacy Department was slightly insulting, featuring a transfer to another hospital. Despite all this, however, Ellery went on to become the most prominent psychiatrist in Australia between the wars.
Copyright 2014 Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine