Thomas A. Ban: Psychopathology- unedited notes from the 1990s

Thomas A. Ban’s reply to Leonardo Tondo’s commentary


Thank you for your commentary on my “unedited notes” on “psychopathology” in which you juxta pose three different concepts of “psychopathology:” Jasper’s, Kraepelin’s and Freud’s. Undoubtedly, these “three giants” dealt with different aspects of “psychopathology” using the term in a broad sense. My essay dealt exclusively with Jasperian psychopathology that together with psychiatric nosology provided a foundation for psychiatry.


Thomas A. Ban

November 10, 2016

FrançoisFerrero: Inquiry of the Geneva 1980s’ Psychiatry Crisis.
François Ferrero’s Summary of Alain’s Autopsy


          After some delay, we were able to receive a full copy of Alain’s autopsy thanks to the cooperationof the Geneva Judicial Archives. Alain had undergone a sleep cure conducted and supervised by René Tissot.

          The autopsy was conducted in the Forensic Institute of the University of Geneva (Institut de Médecine Légale) on June 30, 1980, 26 hours after Alain’s death,

          We received the 11 pages of the document without any restrictions for their use.

General information: 

          Age, 27 years; Height, 178 cm; Weight, 70 kg.

          The histological exams showed “…a bronchopneumonia, a pulmonary stasis, a pulmonary edema, interalveolar bleeding (French: hémorragies) a chronic bronchitis.”

          No alcohol, morphine or derivates were found in the blood.

          The systematic qualitative analysis in the gastric content, blood, urine, liver and kidney revealed: twobarbiturate derivates, secobarbital and amobarbital, both constituents of Tuinal, one of hisprescribed drugs, as well as the presence of three derivates of phenothiazine: levomepromazine, (Nozinan), promethazine (Phenergan) and trifluoperazine (Terfluzine).

          The urine showed benzodiazepine derivates as well as their metabolites, 2-amino-5 nitro 2’-fluorobenzophénone, the hydrolytic product of flunitrazepam (Rohypnol).


          The main cause “has to be the bronco-pulmonary infectious state. It appears of a pretty recent process. The chronic bronchitishas favored the development of the acute state.”

          The toxicologic analysis revealed the presence of substances corresponding to the prescribed drugs at high dosages as expected on the basis of the known clinical data. It does not correspond to a massive intoxication which could represent a process distinct of the medical prescriptions. In particular, no other drugs or toxic substances have been put in evidence.

          “The depressive action of the drugs has obviously played a role in the development of the broncho-pulmonary infection.”

          In conclusion: The main cause of Alain’s death is a bronchopneumonia with a preexistent chronic bronchitis, as well as a significant drug load.


February 14, 2019