Skip to main content Accessibility help

Pinel – a revolutionary psychiatrist

  • Caoimhghin S Breathnach (a1)


The traitement moral, or so-called moral treatment, of insanity was instituted in Paris in 1794 by Philippe Pinel (1745-1826), and the fetters were removed from patients in May-June 1797 by Jean-Baptiste Pussin (1745-1811), lay governor of the insane at the Hospice de Bicetre, and by Pinel and Pussin at the Salpetriere in 1800; the chains were replaced by straitjackets or in some cases removed completely. His contemporaries looked upon Pinel as physician, but it is as a revolutionary psychiatrist that he is revered today.



Hide All
1.Ackerknecht, EH. Medicine at the Paris Hospital 1794-1848. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1967.
2.Weiner, DB. Philippe Pinel's ‘Memoir on madness’, December 11, 1794: a fundamental text of modern psychiatry. Am J Psychiatry, 1992; 149:723–32.
3.Astrow, AB. The French Revolution and the dilemma of medical training. Persp Biol Med 1990; 33:444–56.
4.Weiner, DB. The apprenticeship of Philippe Pinel: a new document, ‘Observations ofcitizen Pussin on the insane’. Am J Psychiat, 1979; 136:1128–34.
5.Garrison, FH. History of medicine. Philadelphia: Saunders, 1913.


Pinel – a revolutionary psychiatrist

  • Caoimhghin S Breathnach (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed