Involuntary Commitment - Politically Motivated Abuses

Politically Motivated Abuses

At certain places and times, the practice of involuntary commitment has been used for the suppression of dissent, or in a punitive way.

In the former Soviet Union, psychiatric hospitals were used as prisons in order to isolate political prisoners from the rest of society. The official explanation was that no sane person would declaim the Soviet government and Communism. British playwright Tom Stoppard wrote Every Good Boy Deserves Favour about the relationship between a patient and his doctor in one of these hospitals. Stoppard was inspired by a meeting with a Russian exile.

In 1927, after the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti in the United States, a demonstrator named Aurora D'Angelo was sent to a mental health facility for psychiatric evaluation after she participated in a rally in support of the anarchists.

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