The Checkylist of Albion: Part 7

This section covers the insane and disabled.

Also, a quick note about default replacements — I’ve downloaded some for plantsims, vampires and zombies. I’ll check them out in-game, and if I like them, I’ll update this post with the creators’ names and links to where you can get the files. 🙂

In any case, Ash & Marigold, Mirelle and Accolon are likely to be looking a little bit different next time we see them.

a)      How does this society care for the insane and disabled?
Disability is hard to do in the Sims. It can be done – see Grimstead, Queen Holly in particular (even if she isn’t queen anymore, grr 😉 ) but it would make picture-taking a pain. Insanity is easier, Sims are already halfway there anyway. 😉
However, if/when I create any insane and/or disabled characters, they will have to be cared for by their families. If they don’t have a family, or their family can’t cope and kicks them out, SOL. There is no social safety net (though I leave open the possibility of one developing).

i)        Is the care for the insane and disabled the same?
Pretty much yes.

(1)   Why?
Because family care is family care. Plus, there’s no fancy medical system to make life easier. Though there may be magical remedies, they won’t be “magic cures” – they’ll be cures that work like modern medicine (slowly, carefully, not always successfully), just using magic instead of science.

(2)   Does this change by religion?
N/A, one religion.

(3)   Does this change by social standing?
Yes.

(a)    Why?
Nobles, royals and wealthy merchants are more likely to have the resources to spend on disabled or insane family members. If there is a magical remedy, they’re more likely to be able to pay for it. However, they’re also more sensitive to shame and embarrassment if the mental/physical illness gets out – so in some cases (depending on how much of an ass the person in charge of the money is), wealthier Sims might be worse off.

(4)   Does this change by race?
Only insomuch as the gypsy/poor thing applies.

(a)    Why?
See all the other answers to this basic question, I’m running out of different ways to say the same thing. 😉

ii)      Is it regulated?
No.

(1)   Why?
This is based on the Middle Ages. The welfare state has not yet been invented. The government has enough problems on its plate already.

iii)    What constitutes a declaration of insanity?
It depends on who the person is and how much property they have. If they don’t have any property and are in some way already a dependent (child, wife, elderly parent), no declaration is needed – the family just takes care of the person as best they are able and willing to do so. If the person has property, however, and somebody else needs to control that property, they would have to go to a magistrate/judge to have the person declared legally insane.

(1)   How is this determined?
Since there aren’t sophisticated psychological tests, the “insane” person is usually examined by the magistrate/judge. Possibly someone from the Church might get involved if they’re from a particular order (see below). If they act crazy enough – basically, just trip the magistrate/judge’s “something ain’t right here” wire – the magistrate will declare the person insane and will appoint legal guardians and trustees to take care of the person and the property. These may or may not be the same people as the one who originally petitioned the magistrate.

(a)    Why?
Again, no real experts, no sophisticated tests. The only reason the government is getting involved at all is because there is property involved, and because the government was asked to get involved.
However, I should mention that if a person feels themselves becoming mentally ill – say, senility or bouts of temporary insanity – they may appoint a personal/property guardian for themselves. This will have to be ratified by a magistrate, just to make certain that there is no coercion/threats going on, but it is possible.

(2)   Who makes this determination?
A magistrate.

(a)    Why?
Because there are no other experts.

(3)   Are there government regulations regarding insanity?
Not for the most part. However, if a magistrate suspects that abuse, or murder, is likely to occur, he may order the guardians of the insane person to submit to random/scheduled inspections and checks, if they want control over the insane person and/or the property.

(a)    Why?
Because while the government doesn’t take responsibility for the insane in general, it does not want the unnecessary deaths/mistreatment of the insane that are brought to its attention on its conscience.

(4)   Are there religious regulations regarding insanity?
Yes. What the regulations are depends on what order you’re talking to. All orders of the Church stipulate, though, that the insane should get some kind of care as well as having their basic needs – food, clothing, shelter – met; beyond that it’s a crapshoot.

(a)    Why?
This is actually one of those places where the Church has a split opinion. Some orders of the Church believe that insanity is caused by demonic possession and that the demons must be exorcised as soon as possible. They’re wrong (in terms of actual reality), but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Since walking around an insane person, praying, dousing them with holy water, etc., doesn’t work, these orders try more and more desperate attempts to “cure” the insane person. In worst-case scenarios, this leads to physical abuse and hardcore neglect – I’m talking locking a person whom they have effectively given up on in a dark room, probably a dungeon (though no OMGSKELETONS!), and making sure they’re fed, but as little interaction as possible, to make sure that the “demons” don’t “spread.”
Luckily, some orders are far more charitable. They’ve come to realize that the above methods don’t work at best, and at worst … well, you just saw what they come out to at worst. Though some of these more enlightened orders pay lip-service to the idea of demonic possession and will attempt a mild exorcism (mumble a few prayers, throw on some holy water, move onto things that have a chance of working), others reject the idea entirely. In either case, these orders are making headway a great deal of headway in “talk therapy,” and some minimal progress in the use of herbal remedies that would mimic the effects of modern (i.e., real-world) medications.
One such enlightened monk, the Reman Father Asylus, was making a great deal of headway in herbal medications, so much so that, after his death, he was considered a candidate for sainthood. He was halfway there when it was revealed that most of his success came from teaming up (genuinely teaming up, not just stealing remedies from) the underground Reman magical communities. He was never officially canonized, but the order he founded is called the Order of St. Asylum in his honor and still continues its work with the mentally ill, using many of Father Asylus’s herbal concoctions.
In terms of the Church in Albion, specifically, neither the order of monks in Albion (a scholarly one, the sorts of monks who concern themselves with how many angels llamas can dance on the head of a pin) nor the order of nuns (concerned with the care of orphans, maybe) are directly involved with the care of the insane. As such, though both orders pay lip service to the idea of demonic possession, how exactly an insane person would be treated by them depends a lot on into whose hands they came into.

(5)   If there are both does this ever come into conflict?
Very rarely, and it hasn’t happened yet in Albion, but it could happen.

(a)    Why?
Let’s say that one of the exorcising-the-insane orders came into Albion. Naturally, if they set up an asylum, they’d first start out with the marginalized insane – i.e., the beggars on the street, the people whose families can no longer cope – but eventually, assuming that they were able to handle what they had, they would want to move up the social ladder. And that’s where they’d run into a problem with the Albionese government. Under Albionese law, an adult cannot be removed by force from their own home, unless they’d run afoul of the law. If the person is not competent to make that decision, the court-appointed guardians would – and what the guardians says goes under Albionese law.
The state won’t argue, however, if the Church is taking in insane homeless persons, since even if the Church treatment doesn’t qualify as humane by modern standards, the state would think that at least this way, the insane person is getting fed and has a roof over his or her head.

(b)   If so, who usually wins?
The state, I’d imagine.

(i)     Why?
They have the army, the town guards, and the navy (er … well, they will have a navy, eventually). If the state refuses to countenance a move, the Church wouldn’t have the force to fight it – they could threatened hellfire and damnation, but I imagine – hope – there’d be other, more reasonable elements of the Church to either absolve the government officials of any sin, or get into a nice little doctrinal spat with the exorcisers and distract them.

(6)   Are the insane shunned?
Yes, unfortunately.

(a)    Why?
The citizens of Albion don’t understand insanity, they don’t know its causes (well … not like we’re really any better on that front), they don’t know how to treat it. As such, actual insane people are more likely to arouse fear than sympathy from the average citizen. The fact that a good three-quarters of the Church are claiming that the insane are possessed by demons does not help matters. Of course, there are exceptions, but sadly, shunning is mainly the way it goes.

(b)   Does this change by religion?
It can change depending upon what religious orders the people have been exposed to. Like I imagine somebody who knows somebody in the Order of St. Asylum would be more likely to try to get help for an insane person than somebody who’s never been exposed to that order.

(i)     Why?
Because of the way the different orders view the causes of, and therefore proper treatments for, insanity.

(c)    Does this change by social standing?
To some limited extent. Treatments for the insane aren’t all that great no matter who you are, but exactly how shunned you are can depend on your social status. I’ll give here basic treatments for the insane by social class, though I do ask that you keep in mind that the most important factor in the treatment of any insane person is the attitude of their immediate family. In other words, if Sir Lancelot went off his rocker and needed care from Will and Guinevere, it would be an entirely different story from if Lord Lot went off his rocker and needed care – never mind that they are both nobles and heads of the household. Anyway, class care lists:
Nobles/Royals: The insane are most likely to be confined to one room, kept out of the way, treated with any “medications” that come along. If the insane person is the head of the household or has any property, a legal declaration of insanity would probably be sought, though it would be as quietly, if not outright secretly, as possible. They’re the least likely to end up in an asylum of any kind, since doing so could lead to embarrassment for the family.
Merchants: Most likely to end up in one of the nice asylums, simply because their family could have the resources/social connections for it (most of the nice Church asylums don’t charge for treatment, but a nice donation could bump your relative to the head of the list …). If the person is the head of household or has property, they are also more likely to be declared legally insane. They’ll also have more freedom of movement, within reason, in the house.
Peasants/Gypsies: Most freedom of movement, but the most likely to end up in one of the nasty places – because if the family can’t cope/the insane person escapes, they’re more likely to be found on the streets and picked up by the Church.
I should add, though, that the probability of a highly negative outcome – either locked in a tiny room in a noble castle (OMGSKELETONS a possibility but not a guarantee) or ending up on the streets and from there into one of the nasty asylums – increases exponentially if the insane person is violent, no matter what that person’s social class is.

(i)     Why?
Nobles/Royals: They have the most to lose from an insane family member. Their family prestige will go down, daughters will find it harder to marry because people will be afraid that the disease, whatever it is, is hereditary. Thus, they benefit from doing things quietly/secretly wherever possible.
Merchants: They’re at a happy medium – wealthy enough to get some kind of care, not so wealthy that their family ship will sink if this gets out.
Peasants/Gypsies: Bottom of the totem pole, families are more likely to be strained from other socioeconomic pressures. An insane family member just adds to the stress.

(d)   Does this change by race?
Yes, somewhat. Different races are more likely to have extremely negative outcomes.

(i)     Why?
Less money, more socioeconomic pressures generally, and the fact that the Church doesn’t approve of different races and is less likely to aid members of those races.

iv)    What constitutes a disability?
Any infirmity, physical or mental, that keeps a person from living independently or working in the job they were trained for/are likely to get due to age, education and class status.

(1)   Are mental disabilities included?
Yes.

(a)    Why?
Because mental disabilities can keep people from working, though I will admit that certain jobs, like working in the fields, are still open to the mentally disabled.

(b)   Does this change by religion?
N/A, one religion.

(c)    Does this change by social standing?
Somewhat.

(i)     Why?
Different social classes have different career options available. A nobleman or merchant paralyzed from the waist down (to use just one example) could still find work in a more sedentary profession: Law, Education (you can teach sitting down, if you have some kind of wheelchair, which I imagine the citizens of Albion would be able to put together), Journalism, Music, Natural Science, Politics, regular Science are some in-game examples. A field hand with little education suddenly paralyzed would find that much harder to do. Also, nobles/merchants are more likely to have inheritances to live off of, making the whole “work” thing a moot point.

(d)   Does this change by races?
Only insofar as different races are likely to be of lower social standing.

(2)   How is this determined?
There is no official determination of disability – either you can work and live on your own, or you can’t.

(a)    Why?
Because there is no social safety net or Social Security – the government isn’t giving you any benefits if you can’t work, so why would they care enough to make some sort of determination? (The exception would be if the person became disabled while in the service of the government, then they would get a pension, similar to the death benefit.) The Church might be persuaded to make a determination, except that all the peasants of Albion (the ones most likely to be hit the hardest by a disability) are on the poor dole anyway.

(3)   Who makes this determination?
Nobody, unless in the case of someone becoming disabled while in government service. In that case, it would probably be that person’s immediate superiors (superior officers in the military/law enforcement/intelligence agencies [once they get set up]).

(a)    Why?
No social safety net, no reason to make the determination. In the case of government service, because the superior officers are the most likely to know about the nature, extent and probable effects of the disability.

(4)   Are there government regulations regarding disabilities?
No.

(a)    Why?
The government doesn’t care. As long as a disabled person isn’t murdered to ease the burden on their family (and in that case, already-existing statutes on murder would cover that), they’re not getting involved.

(5)   Are there religious regulations regarding disabilities?
Not really, although they’re the loudest in protesting, say, the exposure/abandonment of infants who are born disabled (and whose parents determine this at an early enough age to make exposure/abandonment a possibility).

(a)    Why?
The sanctity of life, holiness of all, etc., etc.

(6)   Does this change by social standing?
Nobles and wealthy merchants are the most likely to get the care they need in case of a disability, particularly if it is the result of an accident. (That carries less of a stigma, since in that case, it doesn’t look like Wright has singled out the suffering Sim for misfortune – as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before in this checkylist, shit happens and the citizens of Albion understand that.) Gypsies and peasants are more likely to be thrown completely out of all available jobs and become beggars, basically.

(a)    Why?
No safety net – the care you get depends on the money you have. Nobles and merchants are more likely to have more money.

(7)   Does this change by race?
Again, only insofar as members of different races are more likely to be gypsies and of lower socioeconomic status.

(8)   Does this change by age?
Yes.

(a)    Why?
Infants born with disabilities are likely to be the most stigmatized, the superstitious (which is just about everybody) will think that Wright is punishing them or their parents for some kind of sin and they’ll be shunned for it. Those who come by disabilities later in life tend to be luckier the later it is. The old who become disabled are the “luckiest” of all, since they’re more likely to be at/near the point where they couldn’t work anyway, and are also more likely to have grown children who can take care of them.

(9)   Does this change by gender?
I would say no, tentatively.

(a)    Why?
Women are not considered the main breadwinners; however, a woman’s disability could be devastating to a family, since they’re generally the ones in charge of childcare/holding down the home fort. (I mean, see Berach, he’s not managing so well with a kid and no woman around the house.) Also, congenital disabilities are likely to really hurt – and by hurt I mean destroy – a noblewoman’s chance of marrying well, if at all. But a noblewoman who has either already borne children/is still able to bear children and is already married and who becomes disabled is probably in the “best” position, since she’ll be in a position to afford care, and her livelihood (husband and ability to “pay” for her keep by producing babies) won’t be affected as much.

(10)                       If there are both does this ever come into conflict?
There really aren’t both, so N/A.

(11)                       Are the disabled shunned?
It depends on the disability and when it happened.

(a)    Why?
People who are born with disabilities are likely to get the shortest end of the stick, since, as mentioned above, others will think that Wright was somehow mad at them. Those who came by physical disabilities later in life, however, aren’t likely to be shunned at all, so long as they still have family to care for them, or are able to provide for themselves and pay for others to care for them.

(b)   Does this change for a mental disability?
Not really.

(i)     Why?
It still depends on whether you’re born with it or not. Born with it = probable shunning. Come by it through a stroke or some kind of other injury … well, if your family still takes care of you (if you survive that long), you won’t be shunned by them, though your social life might drop off because the citizens of Albion aren’t exactly trained in sensitivity, etc., when dealing with the mentally disabled.
Of course, if the disability is severe enough, the person might end up being put in the “insane” category.

(c)    Does this change by religion?
N/A, one religion.

(d)   Does this change by social standing?
As for disabilities-by-birth, not really, though noble children are more likely to get some kind of care for their special needs.

(i)     Why?
Luckily, Albion’s religion is an equal-opportunity discriminator, and most of the discrimination is ultimately religious in origin.

(e)    Does this change by race?
If you’re a gypsy, you’re already shunned – this will only make you more shunned.

(i)     Why?
The Church now will like you even less.

(f)    Does this change by age?
Yes.

(i)     Why?
The older you are, the least likely you are to be shunned. A disability would, I imagine, drastically shorten the lifespan of an elder of Albion – so people could be kind and sympathetic because they would figure that the disabled one isn’t likely to be around much longer. The very young and disabled are likely to receive the most stigma.

(g)   Does this change by gender?
I’m going to go with not really.

(i)     Why?
It mostly depends on when and how the disability occurred – not whether you’re a boy or a girl. Both men and women are likely to experience problems on the marriage market for this, after all. (Unless you’re like, a knight and you got some kind of war injury that ends your military career but doesn’t affect your mind or ability to reproduce – then your battle scars [and stories to go with them] might win you more female attention, a la Desdemona and Othello.)

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One thought on “The Checkylist of Albion: Part 7

  1. Sounds good. It sounds very medieval in some places. But considering this is suppose to be medieval that kind of fits.

    It’ll be interesting to see if you ever actually use this part. I mean so far the only people in Albion who are really insane are Morgause, Mordred, Elyan, and Claire. And they’re all kind of “socially-acceptable” crazy, so far as anyone knows.

    And the only disabled person you’ve got is Bors. But thankfully it doesn’t take a lot of brains to be Bors.

    … on that front though, I mean I know the government likes to stay out of these things, but if someone could find someone to perform the surgery, wouldn’t Arthur or Tommy at least *consider* paying to have Bors’ head removed from his large intestine?

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