6. Restricted Visitations
People who were sent to the Topeka State Hospital were often never seen again by the outside world. It was easy to forget about relatives and unwanted spouses once they were on the inside.
However, visitations to those who were loved were severely restricted. Out of the 29 wards in the hospital, visitors were only allowed in four of them. Parents were not allowed to visit their children inside the hospital. Friends of inmates were also not permitted inside and had zero visitation rights.
Dr. Biddle, the hospital’s supervisor, claimed that visits would interfere with the patients’ treatment.
5. Lock You Up And Take Your Stuff
In 1911, it was announced that a claim adjuster was looking into “the financial condition of all the inmates of state hospitals and of relatives bound by law to maintain them.” The Topeka hospital wanted more money than was being given by the state. In fact, the hospital had already begun taking families to court and had won a case the previous year, in which the supreme court ruled they could recover for the care of an inmate “from the time of his admission until the time of his death.”
The hospital wanted something similar to the lunacy act of Ontario, Canada, wherein the asylum would be permitted to take over the patient’s estate and pull from it all the funds required to “care” for the inmate.