In 1988, Gunnar Dybwad recalled a trip he made to Tennessee at the end of the 1950s to visit an institution.

"At the close of the 1950s, Governor Clement of Tennessee came to the end of his tenure and one day told his staff that he would like to have a nice state building named after him. Somebody suggested that Cloverbottom, the state institution near Nashville, needed a new building for severely, multiply handicapped patients. The idea appealed to the Governor and he instructed the staff to spare no money.

Shortly after the building was completed I visited there and the superintendent, a well-known psychiatrist with experience in other institutions, proudly took me to the new building. It was filled with cribs made on three sides of the best Tennessee marble, with an aluminum wire mesh front that opened.

Gunnar Dybwad

The crib stood high on four steel legs so the staff did not have to bend over. (And all that was needed was another marble slab on top to change the crib into a tomb). But then the psychiatrist showed me the main feature: He called an attendant who came with a hydraulic jack on wheels, quickly lifted the rubber mattress with the patient on it, and rolled the jack to the middle of the large dormitory. There was a gangway there with low walls from which streams of water could be turned on so that as the jack rolled through, the patient was bathed, untouched by human hands. The psychiatrist smiled with satisfaction, turned to me and said, 'This is our 3-minute car wash!'"