Dr. Benjamin Rush
During the 1700’s and 1800’s many injustices took place. Society needed reforming in many areas. Slavery and women rights were two of the social reforms that people were speaking and writing about. Slaves were view as property and women were viewed as second class citizens. Dr. Benjamin Rush was one of the most beloved physicians and social reformers during his time. Rush took the time to write about things he felt were injustices in society.
Rush was born on Christmas Eve in the year of 1745 to John and Susanna Rush. Rush lived on a plantation until his father died and he was sent to live with his uncle. Rush’s mother wanted him to ...view middle of the document...
Rush want to improve the health of people, so he advocated for better diets and conservation of natural resources.
Rush worked tirelessly during the yellow fever epidemic. It was during this epidemic that he introduced his procedure known as bloodletting (North, 2000). Rush was a leader in the study and treatment of mental illness. Rush felt that people who were mentally ill needed to be treated with compassion. Rush wanted patients and people in general to have a better quality of life. Rush advocated for universal health care and education (Edwards, 1987). Rush also advocated for prison reform, temperance, the abolition of slavery, and capital punishment.
According to North Rush held strong beliefs on almost every important topic of his day (North, 2000). Rush’s greatest contribution believed by North were the reforms he instituted in the care of the mentally ill (North 2000). Rush was very compassionate with the mentally ill, during his time most people treated mentally ill patients with cruelty. Rush believe that some of the procedures use to treat mentally ill patients were very outdated. Rush felt that the mentally illnesses were cause by some form of disease in the body. Rush was also known as the father of Psychiatry because of his work with mental illness (Edwards, 1987).
Rush was also concerned with temperance. Rush felt that a lot of problems and diseases in society came from too much drinking (Katcher, 1993). Rush felt that widespread drinking also led to the outbreak of the yellow fever. Rush wrote about the viles of drinking and was able to reduce the sale and consumption of alcohol by one third in the State of Pennsylvania (Katcher 1993). Rush was also involved with helping to spread education throughout Pennsylvania (Edwards, 1987). Rush was influential in organizing two colleges, Franklin and Dickinson College. Rush also believe that women should be educated just as equally as men. He only wanted women educated because he thought it would make them more submissive. In order for citizen to live in a democratic society, they must be educated on the same level stated Rush (Edwards, 1987).