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The Late Dr. Robert Gardiner Hill

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This veteran lunacy reformer died suddenly of apoplexy at his residence, Earls Court House, Old Brompton, London, on the 30th May. He was born in Louth in 1811, was educated at Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals, and entered the medical profession in 1834. In 1835 he was appointed Medical Superintendent of the Lincoln Lunatic Hospital, and held this office for five years. It was during this period that he proposed and practised the mode of treating insanity without any mechanical restraints, a procedure fraught with momentous results to the insane, for it led to Dr. Conolly's adoption of the doctrine or “Principle” of Non-Restraint, and to the almost universal practice of this principle in England. Those who do not go the whole length of Dr. Hill and Dr. Conolly in regard to this matter, do not and cannot deny that restraint had been grossly abused before their time, and that the insane and asylums suffered much in consequence, and that this has now been changed by their influence. This is not the time or place to enter fully into the matter, but assuredly the name of Gardiner Hill is not one that will soon die. It was in 1836 that he first advocated the entire disuse of restraint. His best known work was entitled, “A Concise History of the Entire Abolition of Mechanical Restraint in the Treatment of the Insane.” His life was a happy and successful one as the proprietor and physician to the private asylum where he died.

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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2514-9946
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The Late Dr. Robert Gardiner Hill

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