Welcome to our quiz!
As part of our celebration of Human Rights Month this December, MFI is hosting a quiz game to raise awareness of both past and present issues pertaining to human rights in mental health care—and to give everyone a chance to win some great prizes!
On each Friday of this month, we will post a historical question about human rights in psychiatry/mental health on our website and social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).
Registered MFI members will automatically receive an email notification of each question. Sign up for a new membership or renew your expired membership to be included in this mailing list!
Participants must submit answers in writing by filling out the online form provided on this page. To ensure that your submission will be counted, please do not email it directly to our office.
Each time you submit one correct answer, you'll earn one entry into our prize drawing. The more questions you answer, the more chances you'll have to win! For example, five correct submissions equates to five chances to win.
Those who submit more than five answers will be disqualified, however. Please don't try to flood the ballot box!
This is an open-note quiz. Stumped on a question? No worries! You can find the answer listed on this page, and you are welcome to refer to it before making a submission.
On December 31st, 2023, we will select four winners in a random drawing and notify each one by email on January 4th, 2024.
The grand prize winner will receive a wellness gift package valued at $150, shipped to a location of their choice! (Picture coming soon.)
The second-place winner will receive a signed hardback edition of A Fight to Be by Ron Bassman!
Two third-place winners will receive a paperback copy of The Zyprexa Papers by Jim Gottstein or Lighten Up: Dance with Your Dark Side by Al Galves!
This week's question:
Write answer in form below (scroll down if you do not know the answer)
Answer to Question #3:
Article number five states, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Who is the man in this picture and what is the significance?
Answer to Question #2:
“John Ercel Fryer, M.D. November 7, 1937 – February 21, 2003) is the name of an American psychiatrist and gay rights activist who is wearing a mask in this photograph. He is best known for his anonymous speech at the 1972 American Psychiatric Association (APA) annual conference, where he appeared in disguise and under the name Dr. Henry Anonymous. He famously wore a Nixon face mask while making his speech in order to condemn the designation of homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance in the DSM-I. By the time the DSM-II was published in 1974, homosexuality is no longer listed as a category of disorder.
What does psychosurgery and the Detroit uprising of 1967 have in common?
Answer to Question #1
In September 1967, three Harvard Medical School professors suggested in the Journal of the American Medical Association that participants in the Detroit Uprising had defective brains whose violent tendencies could be corrected with psychosurgery, a treatment for mental illness which is now considered one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine. Today it is rarely practiced thanks to the efforts of those such as Noam Chomsky and Dr. Peter Breggin who called upon lawmakers to abolish it.
Incidents of police brutality and harassment of African Americans were the immediate triggers for almost every episode of "civil unrest" during this era. In Detroit, the specific trigger was a police raid on a "blind pig," an after-hours bar, in the early morning hours of July 23, 1967. Officers in the Detroit Police Department arrested 85 African Americans, and this time people fought back. The "civil disorder"—alternatively labeled a riot, a rebellion, and an uprising—lasted for nine days and resulted in at least 43 deaths (the official count is 33 African Americans and 10 white people), around 7,200 arrests, and significant property damage.
A survey of African Americans in Detroit revealed [...] police brutality was the number one cause of the civil disturbance, followed closely by crowded and substandard housing, unemployment, and poverty.
In the Journal of the American Medical Association, three Harvard Medical School professors argued that too much attention was being given to easily defined reasons for violence in the inner cities—reasons like poverty and prejudice. The physicians argued that someone should investigate, too, the likely possibility that the rioters themselves were somehow defective, that there were defects in their mental wiring. [...]
The doctors' blind faith in a simplistic biological approach was incredible. Their statement conjures up an image of teams of white-coated neurosurgeons descending on America's ghettos, intent on weeding out those with faulty brains and patching up their neurological circuitry. Fortunately, the physicians' suggestions never got far beyond the theoretical stage. [...]
The mere existence of techniques for psychosurgery should place the public on guard, and a professed willingness by some physicians to seek to apply those techniques on a large scale to American sub-populations should set red lights flashing. [...]
Certainly, a convict should be stopped from killing again, but because the brain is so complex, even the most exact psychosurgery can only identify a general area associated with killing and hope that by destroying cells in that area one will also destroy potential killing impulses. But it might not work.
Recent experience should not be forgotten. In the late '40s, with brokendown soldiers crowding the psychiatric wards of Veterans' Administration hospitals, psychosurgery's crude predecessor, lobotomy, became surgically fashionable as a means for quickly and efficiently pacifying violent veterans. Lobotomy, now in disrepute, involved the use of an instrument much like an ice pick to sever the connection between the frontal lobes of the brain. But while the technique generally pacified patients for a while, it also frequently left them with new and unpredictable mental disorders. The crest of enthusiasm for lobotomies left behind thousands of human tragedies.