Pinel, Philippe (fēlēpˈ pēnĕlˈ) [key], 1745–1826, French physician, M.D. Univ. of Toulouse, 1773. After moving to Paris in 1778, he was appointed (1793) director of the Bicêtre hospital and shortly thereafter of the Salpêtrière. His Traité médico-philosophique sur l'aliénation mentale (2d ed. 1809), based on observations in both these hospitals, advocated humane treatment of mentally ill persons, then called the insane, and a more empirical study of mental disease. He further contributed to the development of psychiatry through his establishment of the practice of keeping well-documented psychiatric case histories for research.
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