ASYLUM (Insane Asylum)

(literally, “refuge”)- An obsolete term for a mental hospital or psychiatric institution The word has a long history. According to D. H. Tuke (1892) it is “a place safe from violence or pillage. The ancients set aside certain places of refuge where the vilest criminals were protected, and the name later on got to be applied especially to an institution which afforded a place of refuge or safety for the infirm or unsound of mind.”The term has been discarded because of its association with criminal behavior and its emphasis on refuge rather than treatment.

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