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Baruk, Henri


BARUK, HENRI (1897–1999), French psychiatrist. In 1931 he was appointed chief physician at the Charenton mental institution, and in 1946 became professor at the Sorbonne. His early scientific studies concentrated on psychiatric disorders caused by tumors on the brain. He succeeded in creating, by artificial means, aggression psychoses in animals. This led him to study the connections between psychiatric illness and defective moral awareness in human beings, and he subsequently displayed a tendency to extend psychiatry into the area of general anthropology. In 1957 he became chairman of the French Neurological Society. Baruk compared biblical medicine with that of Greece and wrote studies on religious belief and medical ethics. He opposed scientific experiments on the human body and all methods of psychiatric treatment which suppress or diminish the personality. Deeply linked to Jewish tradition and texts, Baruk was active in Jewish affairs in France, as chairman of the Society for the History of Hebrew Medicine in Paris and of the French Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His works include Hebraic Civilization and the Science of Man, 1961 (originally a lecture in Edinburgh in 1960); Le Test Tzedek, le jugement moral et la délinquance (1950); Psychiatrie morale, expérimentale, individuelle et sociale; Psychoses et neuroses (1965); La Psychanalyse devant la médecine et l'idolâtrie (1978); La Psychiatrie et la crise morale du monde d'aujourd'hui (1983); and La Bible hébraïque devant la crise morale du monde d'aujourd'hui (1987). He also published his memoirs: Des hommes comme nous, mémoires d'un neuropsychiatre (1975; Patients are People Like Us: The Experiences of Half a Century in Neuropsychiatry, 1977).

[Joshua O. Leibowitz /

Dror Franck Sullaper (2nd ed.)]

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