Faculty Advisor

Kimberly Jensen

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


This paper explores the use of Eugenics and radical experimental therapies as societal control methods. Using patient case files from the 1920s at the Oregon State Mental Hospital, the story of two patients that were committed is explored. Each patient had treatment and, in some cases, abuses at the hands of the state institutions. In many cases treatment was used as control under the guise of cure. Using the works of social and medical historians to place context on the socially acceptable practices of the time, the paper builds an understanding of the state mental hospital. Through government files such as legislation, patient medical files, Eugenics Board of Oregon files, and death certificates, the patient’s life stories are recreated and explored. With insufficient staff, insufficient funding, and sever overcrowding of the state institutions, the need for control of patients became paramount. Treatments like Eugenics, hydrotherapy, and isolation and restraint became control measures hidden behind a veil of treatment and cure.

Document Type


Type (DCMI Terms)




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In Copyright

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