Previously published in Factoidz and Examiner
This last Duplessis Orphans article may not be for the faint of heart.
The investigate magazine Freedom recounts of one of the most horrendous Duplessis Orphan experiences on record.
The experimentation conducted on Duplessis Orphans during the 1940’s and 1950’s may have been much more horrific that it was previously thought to be.
Montrealer Sylvio Albert Day was orphaned from birth. Day was a Duplessis Orphan who was institutionalized for many years of his life. As a teen he performed hard labor outdoors even in the coldest winter conditions. Inside the institutions he lived under the threat of electroshock therapy, mind numbing drugs, straitjackets, and lobotomies. His life was a living hell.
Day maintains that for three consecutive months his job was to take the dead bodies of orphans from the operating and electroshock rooms down the Montreal hospital basement where he had to wash the bodies to prepare them for sale to the Montreal universities. The hospital in question was St. Jean de Dieu, but according to Day it could have been any mental hospital at the time.
Day witnessed first hand, the human rights abuses going on in the institutions. He saw children and teens used as slave labor. He witnessed the inmates drugged with chlorpromazine until they were senseless, and he saw the ravishing effects of electroshock therapy and lobotomies.
Day’s most traumatic experience was when he was asked to transport and wash a dead body. He removed the surgically gown and cap and jumped in surprise; the dead orphan did not have a brain. Day could clearly see the hole through his head.
Not long afterward, his was called to remove another corpse and prepare it. He could clearly see the large holes drilled into the orphan’s skull. Finally, he was summoned to remove yet a third body; only this time, the unfortunate victim committed suicide. He hung himself to escape further torture from the hospital experimentation.
Day informs that the local embalmer told him the bodies were sold to the University of Montreal and McGill University for their parts. He was also warned he had to stay quiet or he would have serious problems ahead of him.
Day claims that he complained to psychiatrist Camille Laurin, later to become a Quebec cabinet minister. He was feed drugs so strong that they rendered him unconscious and in a vegetative state.