PhD candidate - Aix-Marseille Université
Psychotropic and end-of-life : a comparative analysis between the use of morphine and LSD since 1950
This research work is part of a thesis on the history of medicine, which analyses the complex chronologies governing the relations between medicine and psychotropic drugs over the past two centuries. Working on issues such as medical expertise, socioprofessional issues, relationships between doctors (and more broadly society) with medicines, I would like to show that the history of understanding and the distinction between medicines and drugs is not linear. This study will help understanding the social, political, and scientific reasons that cause both the rejection of a substance that is useful in therapeutic use and its reintegration into practice. We will study how social factors (like hedonistic drug use) can both cause a drug to be banned and new investigators interest. We will also show how legislation for these substances directly influences research, limiting and then stopping studies that are now perceived as subversive and dangerous. It is noteworthy, for example, that several French studies (the most recent in 2012) show the reluctance of a significant proportion of those skilled in the art - doctors or nurses - to use morphine, which they still perceive as a dangerous substance .
Both morphine and LSD will be treated as neutral substances, freed from the stigma that may have weighed on their understanding. This comparative analysis will provide a better understanding of the issues involved in pharmacological research and management of end-of-life patients.
My study focus on the history of the complex relationship between medicine and doctors in France since two centuries, with products altering consciousness and sensibility, alternately designed as innovative medicines or as toxic.
This research project aims at elucidating the complex chronologies governing these movements; it aims to better understand the actual medical practices through systematic literature review comments and analysis of archive; it is also intended to place them both in the matter of medical expertise and its socioprofessional stakes, and in the wider context of the relationship that society has with psychotropic drugs and therefore with pleasure, insanity, pain and death.