Medical Definition of Pinel system

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Pinel system: The policy of treating the mentally ill in hospitals and other institutions humanely and without the use of forcible restraints of any type.

Named for the great French psychiatrist, Philippe Pinel (1745-1826), who was named director of the Bicêtre Hospital in 1793 and shortly thereafter director of the Salpêtriere Hospital, also in Paris, and who cut the chains from the inmates in both institutions.

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