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From his office in New Haven he had telephoned several times to the assistant physician and inquired about my condition. Though Jekyll-Hyde did tell him that I was highly excited and difficult to control, he did not even hint that I was being subjected to any unusual restraint. Doctor Jekyll deceived everyone, and—as things turned out—deceived himself; for had he realized then that I should one day be able to do what I have since done, his brutality would surely have been held in check by his discretion. How helpless, how at the mercy of his keepers, a patient may be is further illustrated by the conduct of this same man.
Once, during the third week of my nights in a strait-jacket, I refused to take certain medicine which an attendant offered me.
For some time I had been regularly taking this innocuous concoction without protest; but I now decided that, as the attendant refused most of my requests, I should no longer comply with all of his. He did not argue the point with me. He simply reported my refusal to Doctor Jekyll. A few minutes later Doctor Jekyll—Doctor Hyde—accompanied by 3 attendants, entered the padded cell. I was robed for the night—in a straight-jacket. Hyde held in his hand a rubber tube. An attendant stood near with the medicine. I had begun to look upon it as a myth; but in presence in the hands of an oppressor now convinced me of its reality.
I saw that the doctor and his bravos meant business; and as I had already endured torture enough, what seemed to be in store for me. We are going to make you take it. But that time will come when you'll wish you hadn't.
When that time does come it won't be easy to prove that you had the right to force a patient to take medicine he had offered to take. I know something about the ethics of your profession.
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You have no right to do anything to a patient except what's good for him. You know that. All you are trying to do is to punish me, and I give fair warning I'm going to camp on your trail till you are not only discharged from this institution, but expelled from the State Medical Society as well. You are a disgrace to your Profession, and that society will attend to your case fast enough when certain members of it, who are friends of mine, hear about this.
A Mind That Found Itself: An Autobiography - Clifford Whittingham Beers - كتب Google
Furthermore, I shall report your conduct to the Governor of the State. He can take some action even if this is not a state institution.
Now, damn you, do your worst! Coming from one in my condition, this was rather straight talk. The doctor was visibly disconcerted. Had he not feared to lose caste with attendants who stood by, I think he would have given me another chance.
But he had too much pride and too little manhood to recede from a false position already taken. I no longer resisted, even verbally, for I no longer wanted the doctor to desist. Though I did not anticipate the operation with pleasure, I was eager to take the man's measure. He and the attendants knew that I usually kept a trick or two even up the sleeve of a straight-jacket, so they took added precautions. I was flat on my back, with simply a mattress between me and the floor. One attendant held me. Another stood by with the medicine and funnel through which, as soon as Mr. Hyde should insert the tube in one of my nostrils, the dose was to be poured.
I have long thought that if I were a millionaire, with money to leave for public purposes, I should endow "Insanity" exclusively. You were doubtless a pretty intolerable character when the maniacal condition came on and you were bossing the universe. Not only ordinary "tact," but a genius for diplomacy, must have been needed for avoiding rows with you; but you certainly were wrongly treated nevertheless; and the spiteful Assistant M. Your report is full of instructiveness for doctors and attendants alike.
The most striking thing in it to my mind is the sudden conversion of you from a delusional subject to a maniacal one -- how the whole delusional system disintegrated the moment one pin was drawn out by your proving your brother to be genuine. I never heard of so rapid a change in a mental system.
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You speak of re-writing. Don't you do it. You can hardly improve your book. I shall keep the MS. You are welcome to use the letter I wrote to you on July 1, after reading the first part of your MS. Reading the rest of it only heightens its importance in my eyes.
In style, in temper, in good taste, it is irreproachable. As for contents, it is fit to remain in literature as a classic account "from within" of an insane person's psychology. The book ought to go far toward helping along that terribly needed reform, the amelioration of the lot of the insane of our country, for the Auxiliary Society which you propose is feasible as numerous examples in other fields show , and ought to work important effects on the whole situation.
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You have handled a difficult theme with great skill, and produced a narrative of absorbing interest to scientist as well as layman. It reads like fiction, but it is not fiction; and this I state emphatically, knowing how prone the uninitiated are to doubt the truthfulness of descriptions of abnormal mental processes. With best wishes for the success of the book and the plan, both of which, I hope, will prove epoch-making, I remain,.