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Biographical entry Bailey, Harry Richard (1922 - 1985)

Born
29 October 1922
Picton, New South Wales, Australia
Died
8 September 1985
Mount White, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Psychiatrist

Summary

Harry Bailey was enrolled in science at the University of Sydney in 1940. While he did not finish this degree, he became employed as a pharmacist's assistant. He later studied medicine at the University of Sydney and won the Norton Manning memorial prize for psychiatry and the Major Ian Vikery prize for paediatrics. Bailey became a medical officer at Boughton Hall Psychiatric Centre in 1952. He also became assistant-director of psychiatric clinical services in the Department of Public Health and was instrumental in the reassessment of governmental mental health policy. Bailey ran a practice at Chelmsford Private Hospital, Pennant Hill experimenting with deep sleep therapy and ECT from 1951 until its closure in 1979. His professional reputation was questioned with a coronial inquiry in 1967 after the deaths of several of his patients. Another inquest was held in 1983 over the death of patient Miriam Podio in 1977. He was charged with manslaughter in 1983 which was dismissed in 1985. Shortly after he committed suicide. A royal commission was established in 1988 to investigate the deep sleep treatment pioneered by Bailey which found evidence of malpractice and led to the banning of the treatment by the New South Wales government.

Details

Harry Bailey was enrolled in science at the University of Sydney in 1940. While he did not finish this degree, he became employed as a pharmacist's assistant. He later studied medicine at the University of Sydney and won the Norton Manning memorial prize for psychiatry and the Major Ian Vikery prize for paediatrics. Bailey became a medical officer at Boughton Hall Psychiatric Centre in 1952. He also became assistant-director of psychiatric clinical services in the Department of Public Health and was instrumental in the reassessment of governmental mental health policy. Bailey ran a practice at Chelmsford Private Hospital, Pennant Hill experimenting with deep sleep therapy and ECT from 1951 until its closure in 1979. His professional reputation was questioned with a coronial inquiry in 1967 after the deaths of several of his patients. Another inquest was held in 1983 over the death of patient Miriam Podio in 1977. He was charged with manslaughter in 1983 which was dismissed in 1985. Shortly after he committed suicide. A royal commission was established in 1988 to investigate the deep sleep treatment pioneered by Bailey which found evidence of malpractice and led to the banning of the treatment by the New South Wales government.

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Tom Hyde