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Dorothea Dix

Famous Nurses Who Made History

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Dorothea Dix

Brain of First Mental Asylum in the U.S. (1802 to 1887) Dorothea Lynde Dix was not an excellent nurse in the very sense of nursing. However, the reputation as a famous nurse was earned by her fearless fight for the right of the mentally ill in front of Massachusetts legislators and of the United States Congress. Dix found herself in this battle due to her passion for teaching. She saw with her own eyes the dismal conditions of the mentally disabled people when she entered the East Cambridge Jail to teach Sunday class for women inmates on March 1842. Dix immediately brought the matter to courts, wherein she won many battles using careful and extensive data of extreme conditions in jails and almshouses, getting these poor individuals improved states. Dorothea Dix continued to win support, enabling her to acquire funds set to provide the insane more humane conditions. But when she brought her advocacy to the national scene, President Franklin Pierce vetoed her almost successful effort to get a facility of 5 million acres for the people with mental disability, which was already approved by both houses of the United States Congress. This failure never stopped Dix from speaking for the disadvantaged. Even with a frail health condition, due to tuberculosis, she pushed the same efforts to different countries in Europe. She made notable changes in the way insanity was treated in the European soil in just 2 years.


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