1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Esquirol, Jean Étienne Dominique

21655561911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 9 — Esquirol, Jean Étienne Dominique

ESQUIROL, JEAN ÉTIENNE DOMINIQUE (1772–1840), French alienist, was born at Toulouse on the 3rd of February 1772. In 1794 he became a pupil of the military hospital of Narbonne, and subsequently studied in Paris at the Salpêtrière under P. Pinel, whose assistant he became. In 1811 he was chosen physician to the Salpêtrière, and in 1817 he began a course of lectures on the treatment of the insane, in which he made such revelations of the abuses existing in the lunatic asylums of France that the government appointed a commission to inquire into the subject. Esquirol in this and other ways greatly assisted Pinel’s efforts for the introduction of humaner methods. The asylums of Rouen, Nantes and Montpellier were built in accordance with his plans. In 1823 he became inspector-general of the university of Paris for the faculties of medicine, and in 1826 chief physician of the asylum at Charenton. He died at Paris on the 13th of December 1840. Besides contributing to the Dictionnaire des sciences médicales and the Encyclopédie des gens du monde, Esquirol wrote Des maladies mentales, considérées sous les rapports médical, hygiénique, et médico-légal (2 vols., Paris, 1838).