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    ABSTRACT: This article examines the management and meaning of post-mortem examinations, and the spatial ordering of patients' death, dissection and burial at the Victorian asylum, referencing a range of institutional contexts and exploiting a case study of the Royal Edinburgh Asylum. The routinizing of dissection and the development of the dead-house from a more marginal asylum sector to a lynchpin of laboratory medicine is stressed. External and internal pressure to modernize pathological research facilities is assessed alongside governmental, public and professional critiques of variable necroscopy practices. This is contextualized against wider issues and attitudes surrounding consent and funereal rituals. Onus is placed on tendencies in anatomizing insanity towards the conversion of deceased lunatics--pauper lunatics especially--into mere pathological specimens. On the other hand, significant but compromised resistance on the part of a minority of practitioners, relatives and the wider public is also identified.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · History of Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: This article surveys anglophone scholarship in the history of medicine over the past decade or so. It selectively identifies and critically evaluates key themes and trends in the field. It discusses the emergence of the discipline from a period of directional crisis to more recent emphasis on a pluralistic and ‘bigger-picture’ agenda, on comparative, cross-disciplinary and multicultural approaches, and on the reorientation and (putative) broadening out of medical history towards wider public engagement and closer interface with medical humanities.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
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    ABSTRACT: The second part of this paper explores deepening doubts about pyromania as a special insanity, British debates post-1890, and pyromania's supplanting with the broader diagnostic category of insane incendiarism. It assesses the conceptual importance of revenge and morbid-motivations for arson, and the relationship of Victorian and Edwardian concepts of arson to more modern psychiatric research.The main objective is to ascertain the extent to which Victorian and Edwardian medico-psychologists and medical legists arrived at meaningful and workable definitions of criminal insanity linked to arson. It concludes by emphasizing the limitations, contentiousness and inconsistencies in the use of technical terms such as'pyromania', contrasted with the qualified success of authorities in arriving at more viable and broadly acceptable explanations of insane firesetting.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · History of Psychiatry
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