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Morison's account of his visit to Bicêtre, Paris (13 April 1818)

Location: 78 rue de Général Leclerc, 94275 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, Paris, France

Morison wrote about his visit to Bicêtre, Paris in his diary entry for 13 April 1818. The diary is now held at the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh.

Extract

Visited the hospice for the aliénés at Bicêtre. 540 aliénés, 120 epileptics, a ward for the more tranquil, one for the furious under medical treatment, one for those having other diseases combined with alienation of mind, and one for convalescents, [who] appeared in tolerable condition. The single cells very bad - stone floor - close - and no fire place. In one the patient was kneeling in his bed, spoke tolerably rational to the keepers, had nothing except a ragged shirt - had an inflammation in one of his eyes. The cell stunk horribly and the floor was covered with ordure [excrement] and urine. One of those in the convalescent ward had eat[en] a good dinner yesterday and was dying in apoplexy today. Some of the epileptics were at work as tailors. There are about a dozen baths, covered except room for the head. Immediately above the head is a cock communicating with a pipe whence water is poured upon the head of the patient.

Asylum visited