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The Creation of the Nation's First Hospital

Benjamin Franklin

Dr. Thomas Bond

Patient Admission and Regulation

Caring for Some Very Colorful Characters

Pennsylvania Hospital's Influence on the Field of Psychiatry

Dr. Benjamin Rush: "Father of American Psychiatry"

Thomas Story Kirkbride and the Magic Lantern


The original Board of Managers decided to refuse admission to three types of patients:

Those wishing admittance to the hospital also had to be sponsored by two tax-paying citizens in order to provide "burial or travel deposits to idemnify the hospital, either from the expense of burial in case they die, or to defray the expense of carrying them back to their place of abode, that they may not become a charge to the city."

Local authorities and philanthropists, as well as members of the Board of Managers and hospital staff members, often provided the funds the patients needed for admission. The rules were set because Quakers made a distinction between the poor who would work but couldn't, and the poor who could work but wouldn't. This way, the predominantly Quaker Board of Managers felt the hospital would be protected from treating people they considered malingerers.

The patients also had to adhere to strict rules, including:

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