As the RCN celebrates 100 years of the nursing profession, it’s worth pausing to remember the nursing staff who had the courage and compassion to fight back during some of the health service’s darker days.
Homosexual men – and it was predominantly men – were institutionalised in British mental hospitals and given "treatment" for their "condition" – the most well-known being Second World War Code Breaker, Alan Turing. Following his arrest and prosecution for a relationship with another man, Turing was given the "choice" between a prison sentence or oestrogen treatment and died not long after.
Whilst the majority were enduring chemical aversion therapy, the absence of protocols or medical guidelines for such treatment meant that in some cases homosexual and transsexual men were given electrical shock treatment in the most appalling of circumstances. Refused water and being forced to lie in their own vomit and faeces as matter of course, many likened their experiences to torture. But this wasn’t Nazi Germany – this was post war Britain – a country supposedly entering into a new and brighter future. Read more via the Independent