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  • Manchester History of Medicine x
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Politics, reform and the demise of medico-gentility

3 The asylum revolution: politics, reform and the demise of medico-gentility [W]hat man of civilized feelings or gentlemanly habits – what man of property or of respectable rank in society – what man of learning or of character, will engage in the care or treatment of this unfortunate class of mortals? They must be left in the care of the vulgar, illiterate, and robust keeper, and the ‘Mind’ that might have been solaced and restored by the influence of manner and education, must be overthrown, debased, lost. A. Mather, A Plain Narrative of Facts relative to the

in Performing medicine
Expertise, authority and the making of medical dominion

welfare of mankind’.4 As it was the ‘duty’ of the medical practitioner to ‘exert himself for the improvement of his species’, he must be ‘a social reformer in the highest sense of the word’.5 Citing the example of ‘public hygiene’, he presented medicine as a pre-eminent tool for social progress. ‘There can be no doubt’, he claimed, ‘that medical science is to be a mighty moral agent for centuries to come, and that its application to the social and political economy promises the most brilliant results’.6 There was a problem, however. In order to fulfil this important

in Performing medicine

sciences into service for the improvement of the hygienic conditions of suffering humanity.’1 Burggraeve himself seems to have lived up to his own ideals. After being appointed Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at Ghent University in 1830, he published various scientific studies on surgical instruments and techniques.2 Of even greater fame was his work within the field of public health. As a socially and politically engaged physician – Burggraeve was a member of the town council of Ghent in the late 1850s and throughout the 1860s – he spread his views on sanitation, the

in Medical societies and scientific culture in nineteenth-century Belgium
Mallorca (Balearic Islands), 1820–70

the same term that described frontier vigilance.’2 However, isolation in the nineteenth century cannot solely be identified as a refinement of previous practices. It was inseparable from the novel sanitary approach of the new liberal states and the new requirements emerging with the development of commercial capitalism. In order to carry out potentially successful public health policies, use of political power was necessary and, as argued by Norbert Elias,3 social acceptance (consensus) played an important part in this.4 In Michel Foucault’s terms, the development

in Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914
Canadian military nurses at Petrograd, 1915–17

6 Eyewitnesses to revolution: Canadian military nurses at Petrograd, 1915–17 Cynthia Toman Sir Edward Kemp, Minister of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, wrote in 1919 that ‘it is impossible to divorce the Medical Services from the rest of the military machine which it serves’.1 It was also impossible to divorce the Medical Services from the ­political machine that it served as an embedded part of the armed forces. Political alliances were not always clear or consistent during the First World War, and Russia had a particularly uneasy relationship with

in One hundred years of wartime nursing practices, 1854–1953
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and disease were conflated and confused with political rhetoric and racial tensions. Historians have adopted this idea. For example, Jo Robertson has argued that in the Australian territory of Queensland in the 1890s, leprosy was racialized. For Roberston, An extraordinary discursive formation came into play that was about the colony being ‘corrupt’ both politically and also in terms of the disease leprosy … The workers saw the importation of indentured labour undermining their hard won rights and they opposed them on the basis that the Polynesian and Melanesian

in Leprosy and colonialism

understand better the links between local politics, medical theory and sanitary practice. This, then, is a story of British sanitary policy writ small: how colonial policies towards quarantine played out at a local and regional level within those parts of the Mediterranean controlled by the British. It echoes a theme highlighted by others in this volume that, despite the domination of anticontagionist thought in Britain itself, Britain tended Quarantine and British protection: Ionian Islands 257 to promote quarantine measures in its Mediterranean possession, and indeed

in Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914

withholding of therapies usually happens, and discuss the evidence for variability. I will argue that the withdrawal of life-­sustaining therapies is not simply a medical matter, but one with considerable social and political dimensions. As such, there is a need for public discourse on the subject, as well as the development of a public policy which might be advanced through the dissemination of institutional and national end-­of-­life policies. Intensive care is extremely expensive and public expenditure on the marginal care it sometimes provides deserves scrutiny. Thus

in Ethical and legal debates in Irish healthcare

2 INSECURE PROFESSIONALS AND THE PUBLIC The relationship between psychiatrists and their patients, explored in the previous chapter, dominated the historiography of madness and psychiatry for many years. Yet examining other occupational groups provides an insight into the complexities of mental healthcare politics, demonstrating the impact of the economic and political climate on professional strategies, and revealing the interconnected fates of different professional groups. Over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a number of occupational

in Destigmatising mental illness?
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Introduction David J. Appleby and Andrew Hopper W   arr’, Edward Calver declared in 1644, ‘hath never seemed sweet to any but to the unexperienced, who, blinded with its florish and its glory, observe not the Tragicall events that doe attend it.’1 Given that he was writing in the midst of the most extensive and sustained internecine fighting the British archipelago had ever seen, it was understandable that Calver should consider civil war to be the worst of all worlds. He had already observed at first-hand how political and religious tensions had caused friends

in Battle-scarred