Mad House Act 1774- Insanity

g.arrieta on Nov 30th 2015

Historical Document 1

In 1774,  the Madhouse Act was implemented in the British parliament. The set standard for determining who was mentally ill and in need of involuntarily confinement was changed from the justices of the peace to the medical community.  In other words the people in charge of defining who was mentally ill switched from Court to the Hospital. This Act created a Group from the Royal College of Physicians to license and inspect private madhouses in London. The bill specifically required an order in writing from a physician, surgeon, or apothecary stating that such person needs this form of medical attention.  Allowing Medical Professionals to certify lunatics created a change in society’s view of lunacy shifting the view of madness from a spiritual disorder to one in need of medicalization.


Filed in Historical Documents | Comments Off on Mad House Act 1774- Insanity