Financial hardship
Bankruptcy, insolvency, and medical charity
in Medical misadventure in an age of professionalisation, 1780–1890
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This chapter considers the impact of the law and legal change on medical men who fell into debt, and examines both bankruptcy and insolvency as discrete processes in more detail. The London Gazette was central to the implementation of both bankruptcy and insolvency law because it advertised notice of legal process to creditors. The chapter also considers an additional indicator of financial hardship: the need to draw on medical charity. It analyses what might be considered the most obvious indication of career turbulence in any occupation: the inability to make a financial living. The availability of money for men, in addition to widows or orphans, makes the Medical Benevolent Fund of particular interest and relevance to the consideration of medical hardship. Financial turbulence, hardship, and associated legal processes were a reality for a minority of all practitioners, and a recurrent one for the unfortunate few.


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