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Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences

Domenico Bertoloni Meli, Cynthia Klestinec
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 17, 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Michael Joseph
The article examines the establishment and growth between 1793 and 1802 of the West India Regiments, British army corps manned by slaves of African descent and commanded by European officers. Focusing on the medical history of British military operations in the West Indies, the article demonstrates that the rationale behind the regiments was medical, but that the impetus for them came from senior military commanders rather than from the medical practitioners whose writings are usually privileged in the historiography...
October 28, 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Cynthia L Tang, Thomas Schlich
This article uses the case of the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating laparoscopic cholecystectomy to investigate the introduction of minimally invasive surgery in the 1990s and explore the meaning of RCTs within the context of the introduction of a new surgical technology. It thus brings together the history of the use of laparoscopic cholecystectomy to remove the gallbladder, and the history of the RCT, shedding light on particular aspects of both. We first situate the RCT in the context of the history of the various treatment options for gallstones, or cholelithiasis, then characterize the specific situation of the rapid, patient-driven spread of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and in a next step describe how the local context of laparoscopic cholecystectomy as a new technology made it possible and desirable to conduct an RCT, despite numerous obstacles...
September 25, 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Christian Strother
While the majority of colonial public health officials in Africa intermittently used measures for mosquito containment, the government of French West Africa made the creation of what were called mosquito brigades into a vital element of urban sanitary policy. The project seemed to offer a chance to curb the impact of mosquito-borne disease on the colonial economy. Yet, despite the full support of sanitary policy on the federal, colonial, and local levels, the government found that conducting a "War on Mosquitoes" was far more difficult than they originally envisioned...
October 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
James R Wright
Effective Anatomical Acts transformed medical education and curtailed grave-robbing. William S. Forbes, Demonstrator of Anatomy at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, authored the Pennsylvania Anatomy Act of 1867, but it was ineffective. In December of 1882, Forbes and accomplices were charged with grave-robbing. Forbes was acquitted in early 1883, but his accomplices were all convicted; nevertheless, these events precipitated a strengthened Anatomy Act in 1883. Forbes was crowned the Father of the Pennsylvania Anatomy Act and was revered by the Philadelphia medical community for his personal sacrifices for medical education; they even paid his legal fees...
July 31, 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Thomas Schlich
This paper examines the international exchange in surgery in the decades before World War I, a period of growing globalization in communication and transport. Focusing on Europe and North America, it looks first at the various means of exchange, especially surgical travel and the culture emerging around it and follows specific directions of exchange, from France and Britain, first to the German-speaking countries and finally to North America. Subsequently, the account turns to international organizations as an important means of exchange in this time period...
July 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Laurent Loison
This paper examines the reception of cell theory in the field of French anatomical pathology. This reception is studied under the lens of the concept of the cancer cell, which was developed in Paris in the 1840s. In the medical field, cell theory was quickly accessible, understood, and discussed. In the wake of research by Hermann Lebert, the cancer cell concept was supported by a wealth of high-quality microscopic observations. The concept was constructed in opposition to cell theory, which appears retrospectively paradoxical and surprising...
July 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Thaddeus Sunseri
From about 1880 to 1920, a culture of medical experimentation promoted blood transfusion as a therapy for severe anemia in Europe, which was applied in German East Africa in 1892 for a case of blackwater fever, a complication of malaria afflicting mainly Europeans. This first case of blood transfusion in Africa, in which an African's blood was transfused into a German official, complicates the dominant narrative that blood transfusions in Africa came only after World War I. Medical researchers moreover experimented with blood serum therapies on human and animal subjects in Europe and Africa, injecting blood of different species, "races" and ethnicities into others to demonstrate parasite transmissibility and to discover vaccines for diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness, and yellow fever...
July 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Yu-Chuan Wu
Neurasthenia became a common disease and caused widespread concern in Japan at the turn of the twentieth century, whereas only a couple of decades earlier the term "nerve" had been unfamiliar, if not unknown, to many Japanese. By exploring the theories and practices of breathing exercise-one of the most popular treatments for neurasthenia at the time-this paper attempts to understand how people who practiced breathing exercises for their nervous ills perceived, conceived, and accordingly cared for their nerves...
July 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Gerald Kutcher
During the 1920s and 1930s, the British surgeon Geoffrey Keynes (1887-1982) treated breast cancer with radium instead of the hegemonic radical mastectomy, while vehemently attacking the "radicalists" for mutilating women. Keynes was also a leading bibliographer of literary figures from Sir Thomas Browne to William Blake through Jane Austen. This article argues that these endeavors did not inhabit separate worlds, but rather his bibliographic methods of collecting and sorting were deeply interwoven with his therapeutic practices and medical ways of knowing...
April 5, 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Peter Pesic
The sonic diagnostic techniques of percussion and mediate auscultation advocated by Leopold von Auenbrugger and R. T. H. Laennec developed within larger musical contexts of practice, notation, and epistemology. Earlier, François-Nicolas Marquet proposed a musical notation of pulse that connected felt pulsation with heard music. Though contemporary vitalists rejected Marquet's work, mechanists such as Albrecht von Haller included it into the larger discourse about the physiological manifestations of bodily fluids and fibers...
April 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Michael Hau
The paper examines the history of constitutional therapy in Weimar and Nazi Germany. Focusing on Walther Jaensch's "Institute for Constitutional Research" at the Charité in Berlin, it shows how an entrepreneurial scientist successfully negotiated the changing social and political landscape of two very different political regimes and mobilized considerable public and private resources for his projects. During the Weimar period, his work received funding from various state agencies as well as the Rockefeller foundation, because it fit well with contemporary approaches in public hygiene and social medicine that emphasized the need to restore the physical and mental health of children and youths...
April 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Lawrence Goodheart
A well-established interpretation associates the nineteenth-century psychiatrist Pliny Earle's deflation of high cure rates for insanity with the onset of a persistent malaise in patient treatment and public health policy during the Gilded Age. This essay comes not to praise Earle but to correct and clarify interpretations, however well intentioned, that are incomplete and inaccurate. Several points are made: the overwhelming influence of antebellum enthusiasm on astonishing therapeutic claims; the interrogation of high "recovery" rates begun decades before Earle's ultimate provocation; and, however disruptive, the heuristically essential contribution of Earle's challenge to furthering a meaningful model of mental disorder...
April 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Arjo Roersch Van Der Hoogte, Toine Pieters
In this study, we will show how a Dutch pharmaceutical consortium of cinchona producers and quinine manufacturers was able to capitalize on one of the first international public health campaigns to fight malaria, thereby promoting the sale of quinine, an antimalarial medicine. During the 1920s and 1930s, the international markets for quinine were controlled by this Dutch consortium, which was a transoceanic cinchona-quinine enterprise centered in the Cinchona Bureau in the Netherlands. We will argue that during the interwar period, the Cinchona Bureau became the decision-making center of this Dutch cinchona-quinine pharmaceutical enterprise and monopolized the production and trade of an essential medicine...
April 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Wouter Klein, Toine Pieters
The history of the introduction of exotic therapeutic drugs in early modern Europe is usually rife with legend and obscurity and Peruvian bark is a case in point. The famous antimalarial drug entered the European medical market around 1640, yet it took decades before the bark was firmly established in pharmaceutical practice. This article argues that the history of Peruvian bark can only be understood as the interplay of its trajectories in science, commerce, and society. Modern research has mostly focused on the first of these, largely due to the abundance of medico-historical data...
February 18, 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Marcos Cueto
This article examines the history of Mexican physiology during the period 1910-60 when two noted investigators, José J. Izquierdo, first, and Arturo Rosenblueth, second, inscribed their work into an international network of medical research. The network had at its center the laboratory of Walter B. Cannon at Harvard University. The Rockefeller Foundation was its main supporter. Rosenblueth was quite familiar with the network because he worked with Cannon at Harvard for over ten years before returning to Mexico in the early 1940s...
January 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Iris Borowy
Between 1984 and 1988, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) built a hospital in a remote part of Ethiopia, close to the Sudanese border. The project evolved in a complex combination of contexts, including the general foreign policy goals of the GDR, its specific alliance with Ethiopia, the famine of 1984-85, civil war in Ethiopia, and a controversial resettlement program by the government of Mengistu Haile Mariam. Though almost unknown today, it was a high-profile project at the time, which received the personal support both by Erich Honecker in the GDR and Mengistu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia...
January 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
David Gentilcore
This article explores the extent to which the bacterial concept of disease acted as an obstacle to the understanding of deficiency diseases, by focusing on explorations into the cause of pellagra in the early twentieth century. In 1900, pellagra had been epidemic in Italy for 150 years and was soon to become so in the United States, yet the responses of medical investigators differed substantially. To account for these, the article reconstructs the sharply contrasting reactions to a provocative theory proposed by Louis Sambon...
January 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
R Allen Shotwell
In this paper, I examine the procedures used by Andreas Vesalius for conducting public dissections in the early sixteenth century. I point out that in order to overcome the limitations of public anatomical demonstration noted by his predecessors, Vesalius employed several innovative strategies, including the use of animals as dissection subjects, the preparation and display of articulated skeletons, and the use of printed and hand-drawn illustrations. I suggest that the examination of these three strategies for resolving the challenges of public anatomical demonstration helps us to reinterpret Vesalius's contributions to sixteenth-century anatomy...
January 2016: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Merlin Chowkwanyun
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2015: Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
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