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Mental Health in the War on TerrorCulture, Science, and Statecraft$
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Neil Aggarwal

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166645

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166645.001.0001

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Mental Health, Culture, and Power in the War on Terror

Mental Health, Culture, and Power in the War on Terror

(p.1) 1 Mental Health, Culture, and Power in the War on Terror
Mental Health in the War on Terror

Neil Krishan Aggarwal

Columbia University Press

This introductory chapter explores how inpatient medical units for psychologically distressed persons qualify as a “total institution” due to its clinical system in treating patients. In every inpatient medical unit, the attending physician sits atop the clinician hierarchy, assuming ultimate treatment and medicolegal responsibility for each patient. He is accompanied by nurses, psychologists, and social workers who gather information through patient interactions. This information is then used by the attending physician for the patients' diagnoses and treatments as well as their daily routine regulations. In this way, the medical inpatient unit staff are able to thoroughly control the sleep, play, and work habits of their patients in a manner similar to a total institution—a place of work and residence where a great number of similarly situated people, cut off from the wider community for a considerable time, together lead an enclosed, formally administered round of life.

Keywords:   inpatient medical units, attending physician, psychologists, social workers, nurses, psychologically distressed persons

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