Its WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE and birthday of the physician who insisted to make PSYCHIATRY an individual discipline !!!
Posted February 19th, 2014
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World Day of Social Justice is a day recognizing the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as povertyexclusion and unemployment. The United Nations General Assembly has decided to observe 20 February annually, approved on 26 November 2007 and starting in 2009, as the World Day of Social Justice. As recognized by the World Summit, social development aims at social justice, solidarity, harmony and equality within and among countries and social justice, equality and equity constitute the fundamental values of all societies. 


To achieve “a society for all” governments made a commitment to the creation of a framework for action to promote social justice at national, regional and international levels. They also pledged to promote the equitable distribution of income and greater access to resources through equity and equality and opportunity for all. The governments recognized as well that economic growth should promote equity and social justice and that “a society for all” must be based on social justice and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.



Johann Christian Reil (20 February 1759, Rhaude (an urban destrict of Rhauderfehn) – 22 November 1813) was a German physicianphysiologist,anatomist and psychiatrist. He coined the term psychiatry or, in German, Psychiatrie in 1808. Medical conditions and anatomical features named after him include Reil's fingerBeau-Reil cross furrows on the fingernails and the Islands of Reil in thecerebral cortex. In 1809, he was the first to describe the white fibre tract now called the arcuate fasciculus. and the locus coeruleus.


From 1788 to 1810 he worked in a hospital in Halle, Germany. In 1795 Reil established the very first journal of psychology in German, the Archiv für die Physiologie. In 1810 he became one of the first university teachers of psychiatry when appointed professor of medicine in Berlin.



From 1802-1805 the poet Goethe visited Reil to discuss scientific matters such as psychiatry, as well as to access his skills as a physician. Reil used the term 'psychiaterie' in a short-lived journal he set up with J.C. Hoffbauer, Beytrage zur Beforderung einer Curmethode auf psychischem Wege (1808: 169). He argued there should not just be a branch of medicine (psychische Medizin) or of theology or penal practice, but a discipline in its own right with trained practitioners. He also sought to publicize the plight of the insane in the asylums, and to develop a 'psychical' method of treatment, consistent with the moral treatment movement of the times. He was critical of Frenchman Philippe Pinel, however. 


Reil was mainly theoretical, with little direct clinical experience, by contrast with Pinel. Reil is considered a writer within the German Romantic context and his 1803 work Rhapsodien uber die Anwendung der psychischen Kurmethode auf Geisteszeruttungen ('Rhapsodies about applying the methods of treatment to disorganized spirits') has been called the most important document of Romantic psychiatry. Reil didn't conceptualize madness as just a break from reason but as a reflection of wider social conditions, and believed that advances in civilization created more madness. He saw this as due not to physical lesions in the brain or to hereditary evil, but as a disturbance in the harmony of the mind's functions (forms of awareness or presence), rooted in the nervous system.


Reil died in 1813 from typhus contracted while treating the wounded in the Battle of Leipzig, later known as the Battle of the Nations, one of the most severe confrontations of the Napoleonic Wars.

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