A sexless, rigid caricature of a nurse, Nurse Ratched imposes discipline on her ward with all the fervour of an Army Nurse, which she had been. Large, with huge breasts only partially disguised by her ultra-stretched white uniform, she nevertheless has a pretty, delicate face that belies her cruelty. Manipulative to the core, the only thing that really matters to Ratched is her desire to control everything around her – the environment, the staff, and the patients. She has rendered the staff doctor who is in charge of the ward helpless and ineffectual.
Her methods are subtle: she speaks with the calm voice of reason, dealing with patients as though they are children. Her group therapy sessions are intentionally humiliating to patients. Her agenda clearly is to turn the group members against each other. That protects her from any unified action against her rules and her dominating role. As long as everyone stays in line, she retreats to her safe place – a glassed-in office overlooking the ward. Chief sums her up mentally as follows: “So after the nurse get her staff, efficiency looks the ward like a watchman’s clock.
Everything the guys think and say and do is all worked out months in advance, based on the little notes the nurse makes during the day. This is typed and fed into the machine I hear humming behind the steel door in the rear of the Nurses’ Station. ” Small wonder that McMurphy becomes the ultimate threat to her tight, close little domain. He demands that the patients be given rights. She believes they only the rights she decides to give them. Cruel in the extreme, she plays repetitious loud music over the ward’s speaker system, successfully drowning out normal conversation.
As her battle with McMurphy intensifies, his hatred of her leads him to aggressive actions against her. Finally he can stand no more. In his last battle against reasonless authority, he tries to strangle her. That may be the end of both of them, not just McMurphy, for his example inspires several of the inmates to check themselves out of the ward and out of her power. Nurse Ratchet’s character has been subject of much critical discussion and even controversy, for several observes consider her a sexist stereotype of the controlling female. History
Electroshock therapy, or ECT, was discovered in 1937 by two Italian psychiatrists who thought to apply an electrical charge directly to the brain. Despite the harsh stigma that has been unfairly associated with this type of treatment – in Kesey’s novel it is seen as a means of punishment rather than a cure – the use of electroshock therapy has proven immensely successful in cases involving moderate to serve bouts of depression. Others argue that its side effects make it one of the more barbaric forms of legal medical procedures in the modern age.
Another possible reason for some people’s strong anti-ECT views may stem from Kesey’s work, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (5). A passage from this piece was quoted earlier in this paper. The work depicts the earlier developments of this treatment and not the ECT of today, or even two decades ago. However, this work left a deep impression on the public that ECT is a painful, humiliating, inhumane procedure used to control unruly patients in mental institutions.
The early abuses of electroconvulsive therapy where patients were shocked up to 12 times a day in an effort to regressing the patient to “an infantile state·[to allow] restructuring his or her behavior” (5) undoubtedly left an appalling vision of this therapy in patients and their families. However, this restructuring hypothesis has been abandoned. There is also a small, but vocal group of ECT patients who attack the therapy, perhaps because of feeling violated by the memory loss.
Mental illness impairs judgment and it is possible that the patients forgot how sick they were before the treatment But by the end of the 1960s, electroshock had almost vanished from the psychiatric scene. The film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was released in 1975. Jack Nicholson played the unforgettable character who is given unwanted and unnecessary electroshock treatments and his fellow patients on the ward were portrayed as lobotomized-looking, hollowed-out souls who had trouble recognizing friends and family.
Their capacity for speech and language had been damaged and they often ended up needing to be institutionalized. “Cuckoo’s Nest” played a major role in discrediting ECT. Quotes “The Shock Shop, Mr. McMurphy, might be said to do the work of the sleeping pill, the electric chair and the torture rack. It’s a clever little procedure, simple, quick, nearly painless it happens so fast, but no one ever wants another one. Ever. ” The Electroshock Therapy Table The electroshock therapy table is explicitly associated with crucifixion.
It is shaped like a cross, with straps across the wrists and over the head. Moreover, the table performs a function similar to the public crucifixions of Roman times. Ellis, Ruckly, and Taber—Acutes whose lives were destroyed by electroshock therapy—serve as public examples of what happens to those who rebel against the ruling powers. Ellis makes the reference explicit: he is actually nailed to the wall. This foreshadows that McMurphy, who is associated with Christ images, will be sacrificed Legal Summation Good morning gentleman of the jury and your honour.
Before we begin I would like to take a few minutes of your time and so I ask if you would close your eyes and think for a minute. Imagine if you were strapped to one of those cold hard Electro-shock Therapy tables, your hand and feet pinned down, numbness creeping in, circulation getting slower, you can hear the blood pumping through your veins and you see someone being amused by this suffering and distress, a cold hard sneer of joy plastered on a hard steel emotionless face and revelling in the torture that is being bought to you. Ladies and gentleman this is what is happening in this institution as we speak.
Ms Mildred Ratched also called the “Big Nurse” has been accused of Grievous bodily harm through Electro-shock Therapy under the pretence to punish patients instead of curing them. The Electroshock Therapy table can be explicitly associated with crucifixion. It is shaped like a cross, with straps across the wrists and over the head. Moreover, the table performs a function similar to the public crucifixions of Roman times. Walter Henry Ellis, Arthur Stanley Ruckly, and Maxwell Wilson Taber who were Acutes whose lives were destroyed by electroshock therapy—serve as public examples of what happens to those who rebel against the ruling powers.
Ellis makes the reference explicit: he is actually nailed to the wall. According to mental illness specialist Dr. Thompson, the Electro-Shock Therapy is a painful, humiliating, inhumane procedure used to control unruly patients in mental institutions. Gentleman of the jury this is what Nurse Ratched was manipulating every patient who underwent that procedure. Humiliating and controlling mentally ill patients, this is outrageous, why punish a man, who sometimes has no control over his actions, why punish and manipulate someone to such an inhumane procedure which in the eyes of leading medical professionals has no benefits.
How can you gentleman of the jury possible let a rigid portrait of a nurse, manipulative to the core, the only thing that really matters is her desire to control everything around her, be a nurse to these mentally ill patients. Gentleman of the jury she is a heartless, emotionless, inhumane, manipulative human being. Who punishes her patients and laughs at them. When one thinks of a nurse what comes to mind. I read an interesting article about the health care profession a while back and what really struck me was how people view nurses.
The majority of patients view a nurse as their main primary care giver. Usually a nurse is the first face you see in the morning and the last before you go to sleep. The nurse is your voice in the hospital system. In the article patients were asked several questions about care, hospital procedures and about nurses. One of those questions asked was “How did the rostered-on nurses treat you as a patient” and a whopping 95% answered that the nurses treated them with respect and dignity. 95% that’s amazing.
Okay what about the rest of the 5% of patients, those 5% hopefully didn’t encounter Nurse Ratched or somebody similar while they were in care. But to be realistic I think Nurse Ratched is one of a kind and being one of a kind we can unite and eliminate this cruel and inhumane being. So much sorrow and tears have been shed and lives altered. When can we say enough is enough? So gentleman of jury and your honour I have put forth to you my findings concerning this case. Let’s bring justice to those in need and stop this torture once and for all. The prosecution rests your honour.