The Lost Souls of Willowbrook
Abstract: This video starts with a man named Bernard, who to the untrained eye may appear to be “mentally retarded”. He goes on to talk about how he was placed in Willowbrook after a misdiagnosis. The video continues to progress to where we meet Dr.Michael Wilkins, Dr.M was recently fired from Willowbrook for trying to urge the parents to organize to work towards better conditions for their children. Clearly Willowbrook management didn’t take kindly to his suggestions and fired him. A reporter then made his way to building 6 to see just what the doctor who got fired was talking about. Upon his inspection what he found left him at a loss for words, he stated “it smelled of filth, it smelled of disease and it smelled of death”. The video then proceeds to talk about the changes that have been made for the care of those with developmental disabilities.
The treatment of the developmentally disabled people in this video is absolutely repulsive. The video clearly depicts this in several of the scenes, one scene being where you’re taken into a room where flash lights are needed to see, no light, children sprawled on the ground, some naked but most in just underwear and long shirts. The ratio of children to attendants was reported at 50-70:1 this ratio is far from what it needs to be. It really just looks like a jungle in there, and I would agree with the reporter when he said it’s more of a concentration camp than a place you would go for help. When comparing how we approach special education services today as to when Willowbrook was open you’ll see a vast difference. For example we now have highly qualified teachers who “by NCLB regulations are teachers who hold a bachelor’s degree, have full state certification, and can prove knowledge in the subject they teach(Batshaw 2013).” This is compared to the attendees who often times were nurses or glorified babysitters...
Bibliography: 1. Batshaw, M. L. (2013). Children with disabilities (7th ed.). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Pub..
2. Marsden, S. (n.d.). Historical cases of unethical research. Historical cases of unethical research. Retrieved February 14, 2014, from http://www.und.edu/instruct/wstevens/PROPOSALCLASS/MARSDEN&MELANDER2.htm
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