Sheila and David Rothman
Chris Hansen and Sheila and David Rothman talk about their work on the Willowbrook case (NYSARC v. Carey) in the 1970s. Willowbrook was a New York state-run institution for people with severe developmental disabilities. Filthy conditions and questionable medical practices and experiments prompted then-Senator Robert Kennedy to call it a 'snake pit.' The New York affiliate of the ACLU sued the state in 1972 to shut down the institution or - at the very least - improve conditions for the 6,000 residents. The Rothman’s wrote a book on Willowbrook in 1984. Chris Hansen - who we hear from first - was an attorney on the case.