In 1758, the physician-philosopher Johann-Georg Zimmermann (1728-95) published Vom Nationalstolze. In this treatise, Zimmermann transformed the particulars of medical analysis conceived to examine pathological individuals into an instrument for observing societal mentalities. This article deals with Zimmermann's motivations for writing on national pride and with his observations and reflections on different kinds of national tempers. Zimmermann's descriptions of healthy and unhealthy manifestations of national pride and his prescriptions for preventing its worst effects are expounded through many direct quotes.
The study of women in medieval medical practice is a recent area of research plagued by method, sources, and interpretation problems. The main obstacle is probably the paucity of the documentation, the underrepresentation of women in the sources. Studying the judiciary sources of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Paris reveals women tried by the highest court of justice in France for illicit practice of medicine. Of 34 trials pertaining to health in the "Registre des plaidoiries du Parlement de Paris 1364-1427," eight cases involve women. Two of these trials are particularly instructive because they give many details on certain aspects of women's practice in the Middle Ages. Perette la Pétone is brought to justice by the "corporation des chirurgiens de Paris" for illicit practice of surgery and Jeanne Pouquelin is tried by the "communauté des barbiers de la ville de Paris" for illicit practice of "barbery." This article includes a transcript of the unpublished sources used for the study of these two cases. They shed some light on questions such as: What is the place and role of women in the medical guilds? How do they acquire the expertise required for these crafts? How are they perceived by their peers and society in general? And what is the extent of their medical knowledge?
Between the years 1346 and 1353, a terrible epidemic swept over Western Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, causing catastrophic losses of population everywhere, both in the rural areas and in towns and cities. The Black Death was a disease of such magnitude that it not only shook the Old World to its economic and social foundations but changed the course of human history. The authors considered and analyzed many studies on the Black Death published in different languages. In the present paper they report medical and epidemiological specificities of the pandemic as well as its geographical origins and the routes of its spread.
Through a forensic investigation conducted by a Jewish doctor at the end of the 14th century, this paper aims to determine the quality of the training as well as the ensuing practical knowledge that the doctor possessed. Based on the "authorities" (auctoritates) quoted in his investigation, it appears that the doctor, who likely did not attend medical school, acquired the theoretical knowledge that was taught in such institutions and that was required to obtain a medical licence in Provence.
The aims behind this study are to verify a possible relationship between intestinal infectious diseases and certain professional activities carried out in 15th-century Florence by some categories of lesser labourers. Sources of the present study were the Libri dei Morti by the Florentine Ufficio della Grascia concerning the years 1424-25 and 1430 characterized by a plague epidemic. In this period, thanks to the particular social and economic circumstances of the times, the Libri dei Morti were enriched with additional notes about the illness that caused the deaths. The tables show an analysis of the data concerning the types of illness, the residence of the deceased and his/her social state. The present study suggests that certain professions were more exposed to infectious pathologies.
This paper is a comparative study of debts for medical services among the populations of Perche (Low-Normandy, France) and Quebec during the 1690s, 1740s and 1770s, as presented in metropolitan-colonial reports. This socioeconomic study presents the social and geographic characteristics of patients who needed medical services, the debts incurred, the popularity of practitioners, and the level of medicalization in these two areas.
This article questions the view that hospitals in early modern France were static and inflexible institutions. The small-town hospital of Caudebec in present-day Upper Normandy underwent three major transformations during the course of the 18th century. Founded in 1693 as a "local" hospital, the institution was designated as an hôpital général in 1724 and began incarcerating beggars and vagrants. Later, with the influx of sick and wounded soldiers brought on by the Seven Years' War, the hospital took on the functions of a small military hospital. On the eve of the French Revolution, the hospital's "civilian" population contained a growing number of individuals who offered to pay for the cost of their care. The arrival of these groups of "paying inmates" shows that the Caudebec hospital was capable of adapting to changing circumstances and was able to respond to the new priorities of the State.
Samuel Auguste Tissot (1728-1797) was a Swiss physician from Lausanne, who enjoyed a great reputation in his lifetime, thanks to his publications and professional expertise. His personal records contain many pieces of correspondence and more than a thousand written consultations, which are documents describing the disease of a person, that were sent to a physician in order to solicit advice on diagnosis and treatments. This collection is very interesting in many aspects, notably for giving an insight into the patients' points of view. This perspective, which is often difficult to adopt because of the lack of archival materials, has been presented recently as an essential alternative to the traditional history of medicine. Written consultations allow an original reflection on the perception or expression of sickness and shed new light on the patient-practitioner relationship. They reveal a complex network of mediations, that is, actions undertaken by individuals at any step of the epistolary consultations. This article aims at defining the different kinds or levels of mediations that one can find in the documents in order to understand when and why there are sometimes mediators, and which role they play. Such a study should demonstrate that the experience of sickness is not only the business of a single person, but involves several people. The patient-doctor relationship is not exclusively a binary one, but often includes the active participation of third parties.
Albert Haller practiced medicine in Berne before being appointed Professor of Anatomy and Botany at the University of Göttingen. From 1731 to 1736, he kept a journal detailing the treatments he prescribed to his approximately 300 patients, 63 of whom were children and adolescents. The journal noted 580 pediatric consultations and detailed the ailments, their progression and applied therapies, allowing the reconstruction of case histories, some of which extended for several years. Through analysis of this data, we attempt to answer the questions such as: What diseases led parents to ask for medical interventions for their children? What were the age cohorts of the group of young patients? At one point did Haller perceive as serious their statements and symptoms/ How frequent were consultations? What were the prescribed therapies? Did he base his conclusions on the value of a child's life attributed by physicians and society of the period?
Dr. James Latham, British military surgeon and inoculator, was the first known person to have practised inoculation for smallpox in Canada. He came to Canada with his regiment in July 1768 and undertook inoculation in Quebec and Montreal in the years 1768–70 and again in 1786. His efforts were recorded in the Québec Gazette and have been liberally quoted by various authorities on the history of medicine in Canada. But to date little has been known of his life or subsequent career. Recent work has re-assessed the role of inoculation in reducing the incidence of smallpox in the 18th century. In an age where smallpox was considerable inevitable, inoculation with live smallpox matter could reduce the mortality from the disease from one in six deaths from natural smallpox to one in fifty deaths for those inoculated.
At the beginning of his medical career, George Spence signed a contract with the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) as surgeon for the Fort Albany fur trading post located on James Bay in British North America. During his first three years (1738–41), Spence encountered formidable personal and professional challenges which can be partially reconstructed through examination of his surgeon’s journal for 1740–41. By unique good fortune, two other corroborating journals exist for Albany from the same year: the journal of another HBC servant and the regular post journal. Spence’s is the only surgeon’s journal in the HBC archives prior to 1846 and one of very few such journals from any period of the company’s history.
This paper examines everyday medical practice in one fur trading context from the perspective of HBC employees and the recipients of medical care. George spence's significance lies partially in the ordinary nature of his practice in contrast to heroic historical accounts, and partially his contribution toward knowledge of an earlier context in medical history than has been previously analyzed. I have drawn on concepts from labour and professionalization history to analyze the seemingly contradictory position of the surgeon as both an autonomous professional and a servant in relation to the HBC. While Spence successfully fulfilled his role as surgeon, he struggled to meet expectations as a servant of the company. His struggle was partially based on emerging professional ideologies, and partially based on changing labour relationships within a pre-industrial society.
This article examines 18th-century European warfare, tracing the first formal codifications of conventions of war, frequently introduced by military physicians and initially regarding the treatment of the sick and wounded. It outlines to what extent these conventions were followed in practice, particularly in the challenging environment of American irregular warfare, with a focus on the most well-known incident of "biological warfare" in the period: the deliberate spread of smallpox by British officers among Amerindians in 1763. More broadly, it demonstrates that the history of military medicine provides a fruitful method with which to uncover assumptions about the ethics of war.
The coroner's office, created in England in 1194 to hold inquiries into suspicious or violent deaths, was established in Quebec and Montreal in 1764. From 1765 to 1930, more than 16,000 reports, housed in the provincial National Library and Archives, were documented for the district of Quebec. A database was created to facilitate access for those interested in past customs, in provision of medical care, in attitudes towards death, in crime, in the effects of industrialization, and in new ways of production. This paper summarizes the most important elements of this database, gives a chronological account of the office of the coroner, describes the documents, and show the connection between the inquiries of the coroners and the socioeconomic events of the region.
At first glance, it would appear that eighteenth century Spain occupied an excellent strategic position to maintain its theoretical hold over the Pacific and to meet challenges from foreign competitors who had to sail half way round the world or to overcome daunting obstacles before they could begin to threaten the Spanish monopoly. Indeed, until well into the second half of the century, Spain evaded the heavy expenditures required to dispatch naval expeditions to delineate the North Pacific littoral of the American continent. Until the 1770’s, there were few urgent pressures to complete the North American map or to defend the coastline from intruders who might wish to construct bases, tap resources, and to establish ties with the indigenous populations. When challengers emerged, however, Spain had to face a whole series of assaults against its sovereignty which had been based upon the concept of prior claim and not on actual exploration and effective occupation. Russia moved into Alaska from its Siberian bases and appeared ready to strike southward into the immediate proximity of the sparsely inhabited California missions. Britain, France, and other nations expressed new enthusiasm for discovering a Northwest Passage and settling once and for all the apocryphal myths that influenced cartography. Following the American Revolution, the upstart young republic began to dispatch exploring-trading missions that cast fear into the hearts of Spanish administrators knowledgeable about the enormous unsettled territories at the frontier of the Mexican dominions. Finally, there were dynamic new forces transforming the world—scientific curiosity and an unquenchable thirst to learn and to answer mysteries that would leave no great temperate region unvisited. The third voyage of Captain James Cook to the Pacific and Northwest Coast served as a catalyst to international activities that forced a major Spanish presence.
From 1775 to the beginning of the 20th century, many doctors and clergymen published manuals in France to instruct religious women and nurses about their tasks and duties in caring for the sick. This article examines 10 such documents produced during three different periods, each reflecting the priorities of their time. Initially, from 1775-1815, the manuals were to serve in courses proposed to train nurses, courses that were refused by successive French governments. In the second period, 1816-69, they continued to be published as self-help manuals. By the third period, 1870-95, as nursing courses finally began to be set up, the new manuals reflected the new scientific and medical breakthroughs.
George Vancouver was descended, through his father, from the honourable Netherlands family of van Coeverden and his mother could trace her ancestry to Sir Richard Grenville, the great Elizabethan sea-dogs. That pedigree was no doubt a factor in achieving an introduction to Captain James Cook for, at the tender age of 14, the young Vancouver joined the Resolution to accompany Cook on his second voyage. He obviously acquitted himself well, because he served as a midshipman in the Discovery on Cook's third voyage to the northwest coast of America. Vancouver was personally involved in events that led to Cook's tragic death at Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii, where his knowledge of the Hawaiian language and rapport with the natives helped to restore relationships. It also appears to have influenced subsequent reactions.
This article discusses the several attempts to organize and regulate the medical profession in New Brunswick, Canada, between 1793 and 1860. It examines medical legislation during the colonial era, culminating in the creation of the Medical Faculty of New Brunswick in 1859. Also, it explores the desire within the profession itself for increased protection and recognition. This desire inspired the formation of several medical societies in the years following 1827. A central figure in professional organization was Robert Bayard (1788-1868), who graduated from Edinburgh in 1809. The article examines his relationship with his colleagues, notably Thomas Paddock, John Boyd, and Alexander Boyle, to identify personal tensions affecting the development of the medical profession. The article concludes that the medical profession acquired a significant degree of authority in New Brunswick only following the enlistment of legislative support. The search for greater authority stemmed from the advent of sectarian doctors in the province. Although sectarian practitioners never flourished in New Brunswick, the law of 1859 gave the province's regular doctors a sense of identitiy that facilitated the establishment of medical societies and the province's first general public hospital, in Saint John.
This article investigates how French and British army medical officers in Egypt at the turn of the 19th century were affected by campaign experiences. Their encounters with ophthalmia, plague, and other diseases influenced the practice of medicine in later campaigns and fostered the development of the idea amongst military practitioners that military diseases required specialised knowledge. Practitioners' campaign writings are used to demonstrate how British army doctors approached the investigation of the "new" diseases they encountered. In particular, the article focuses on how Dr. James McGrigor used the military system to control, direct, and disseminate the development of medical knowledge.
Archaeological excavations carried out in two ancient cemeteries (1657-1844) of Notre-Dame-de-Québec Basilica in old Québec City allowed us to analyze the skeletal remains of more than 175 children who died before they were 10 years old. The proportion of infants is higher than expected according to the parish registers presumably because archaeologists recovered the remains of infants whose death had not been recorded in the registers. Two peaks of mortality have been noted: among the newborns and between one and two years old. The observed bone lesions lead us to believe that prenatal stress and rickets might be responsible for these high mortality rates. Although the samples from the two cemeteries were contemporaneous and drawn from the same community, there are some significant differences from the morbidity and mortality standpoint, tentatively attributed to the fact that most of the children recovered from one of the cemeteries were the victims of an epidemic while those from the other cemetery died in normal circumstances. This study shows how the analysis of skeletal remains can shed light on pathological conditions which otherwise would remain undocumented and how paleoanthropology opens new perspectives of research on diseases and death in the past.
After 15 years of medical practice, a physician working in Gatinais (a region situated south of Orleans) decided, in 1649, to write books, which he did until he was 80 years old in 1692. One of these books, whose English title was, The Poor Man's Physician and Surgeon (published in London in 1704) had a great success. The first two (1649 and 1650) dealt with esoteric topics for the time. Analyzing these works presents the opportunity to understand how this "Doctor of the University of Montpellier" interpreted traditional anatomy and physiology, as well as his receptiveness to new therapeutic methods.
In 1801 an obscure young woman in Berlin discovered to possess "an unusual formation of the sexual organs" became a flashpoint of professional debate between some of Germany's most prominent physicians. Doctors' opinions regarding sexual indeterminacy were always circumscribed by the limitations of their capacity ot observe the human body. Because of this, "hermaphrodites" had considerable latitude in constructing bodily experience and sexual histories which would support their own largely incontrovertible claims about their bodies. Their rejoinders to the normalizing, binary notion of gender held by both physicians and jurists are remarkable.
This list of records comes from a survey of 57 hospitals, 29 in London, England and 28 in Ontario, Canada which was undertaken between 1983 and 1987. Readers and users of this guide should bear in mind the following points. The list includes all records generated or received by the hospital in the course of its activities; not included are published secondary material, such as government reports or professional journals, artifacts, paintings, and records incorporated in the current files. Records are entered at either the item or the series level by title and/or type, physical format, date, and linear extent in feet. The titles were assigned to minimize local differences and to permit essentially the same records to be gathered together for comparative purposes. Standard measurements were used so that equivalency could be maintained: one bound volume and standard transfer containers were both assumed to occupy .50 of a foot; bundles of plans and drawings, whether flat or rolled, were assumed to occupy three feet; one file drawer was assumed to contain a minimum of two feet of records.
Until the end of the Ottoman period the Hippocratic-Galenic doctrine, which had been improved by medieval Muslim medicine, was the predominant medicine in the Holy Land. The penetration of modern medicine into the region was a slow process, advancing step by step over the years until it was established around the end of the 19th century.
Dr. Titus Tobler, a Swiss physician of many talents, first visited Jerusalem in 1835, then again in 1845, 1857, and 1865.. He reported his experiences and impressions in several books and articles. His publications portray the condition of medicine in the city before the advent of the European physicians, their arrival, and the establishment of the first hospitals in the city. Thanks to his endeavours, a professional description of the medical conditions prevailing in Jerusalem in the mid-19th century is available to the public. Tobler's writings include descriptions of the healers, blood-letters, quacks, medicinal substances and their market, and the diseases and illnesses from which the inhabitants suffered. In addition, Tobler produced a detailed report of the different hospitals, pharmacies, European phYSicians, and their experiences. A digest of Tobler's information, its fresh systematic arrangement, and its comparison with other historical sources, 'early as well as recent, produces a better picture than ever previously available of the medical conditions of the city in the final years of the ascendancy of Arab medical systems and in the early stages of early modern European medicine in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
Viewed in broad, historiographical terms, the rise of the public health movement in Canada has been chronicled from two different perspectives. The first approach attributes the rise of sanitary reform, quarantine regulations, pure water supplies, and immunization to the impact of various epidemics that visited North America in the nineteenth century. These outbreaks, combined with the medical discoveries of such pioneers as Budd, Lister, Snow and Pasteur laid the scientific foundations for the public health movement. This story is usually told in terms of progress, individual achievement, and altruism. The second approach focuses on motivation, and concludes that public health services were not implemented until the leaders of society realized that diseases could be transmitted from the poor to the wealthy. Both interpretations are based largely on society's reactions to outbreaks of cholera in the 1830s, typhoid in the 1840s, and smallpox in the 1880s. Most historians, however, have overlooked the fact that smallpox differed from other contagious diseases. Physicians might not know what caused it or how to cure smallpox, but they did possess the means to prevent it. Society’s leaders could protect themselves from the ravages of smallpox without resorting to universal, compulsory vaccination, which was not the case with other epidemic diseases. The following examination of the evolution of smallpox vaccination on Prince Edward Island illustrates that public interest in vaccination fluctuated between humanitarianism and self-interest, and that although compulsory vaccination laws buttressed the struggle against disease, the key to effective protection depended more on public health education than on compulsion and the availability of prophylaxis.
The importance of Dr. Robert Kerr in Canadian history is not large, but he played a significant role in the early years of what is now Ontario. Though his Canadian years were spent largely in active military service and, after his discharge, at Kingston and in the Niagara peninsula, nevertheless, in the compact and sparse settlements and posts of the times he was widely known and influential. Moreover, Kerr had a significant connection with one of the founders of Toronto. As this discussion will show, a fateful conjunction of art and medicine lies behind a portrait of Robert Kerr.
Dr. Harmaunus Smith lived and practiced in the area of Hamilton, Ontario, from 1818 until 1872. His account books are extant from 1826 through 1867; these books give considerable data on the fiscal aspects of Smith’s practice but little information on its clinical details. Analyzing these data, and including further information on heads of households obtained from census and assessment reports, reveals that Smith earned only a very modest income from his practice, being paid only a fraction of what he charged. His fees remained the same or fell over the duration of his practice. His well-to-do patients seem neither to have used his services more, nor to have been any more likely to pay their bills, than those less well off.
In the early 1830s, the Philadelphia publisher Henry H. Porter rapidly published five journals, six books, and an almanac, works having a particular emphasis on health and personal hygiene. Porter's health publications linked the traditional message about the importance of personal hygiene to health to the messages conveyed by the flourishing American reform movements at the time, and his Journal of Health was among the first American medically oriented periodicals published for the layperson. Yet Porter did not survive in the intensely competitive and financially unstable book trade. This study examines Porter's health publications, attempting to explain why he chose to publish what he did, the message(s) his works contained, the audience(s) he tried to reach, and the failure of his business.
In the decades before formal training, nursing in English Canada was carried out by untrained women and a few men, of varying skill and respectability. Little is known of their lives. Using Toronto as a case study, this paper explores the development of nursing in the 19th-century city as a trade for working-class women. As Toronto grew and industrialized, opportunity grew for working-class women to nurse for pay. This paper considers the range of expertise and respectability of nurses working in city homes and hospitals, explores the fluid nature of nursing roles, and the changing definition of "nurse" over time.
This paper uses surgeons' reports from the 1830s and 1840s to investigate routine regimental medical care by focusing on a familiar, non-fatal disease. The regimental reports are used to describe the classification of influenza and the use of antiphlogistic regimen to treat the disease. Also discussed is how the surgeons reconciled the rapid spread of influenza with the predominant causation beliefs of the time. Furthermore, the patterns of influenza morbidity in the early middle 19th century are discussed, adding to the understanding of the historical epidemiology of this genetically variable virus.
James Alexander Grant rates high amongst the Scottish physicians who have contributed to the medical and intellectual life of Canada. In many ways his life was unique. Grant was born into a privileged family and class, a society controlled by the monarchy and the privileged few who exercised power on behalf of the crown. But in the 19th century, liberalism was rising as a reaction against the arbitrary prerogatives of these few. British liberalism stressed the rights and freedom of ordinary individuals, sought the supremacy of Parliament, with equality of opportunity and of education and economic liberty for all.
The major problem facing historians of clinical medicine is the difficulty of retrospective diagnosis. What disease (or diseases) was the leprosy of the Bible? What was the English “sweating sickness”? What diagnosis should be given for the mysterious mal de la Baie St. Paul that ravaged rural Quebec in the 1780's? The problem arises for many reasons. Some diseases have changed over the years: long before the advent of antibiotics, scarlet fever began to be less fatal and less severe amongst survivors. Syphilis, although still a serious disorder, certainly is a different disease now than it was when it devastated Western Europe in the 1490's, killing thousands. But most diseases probably have changed infrequently within historical times.
In 1845, the first true asylum for the mentally insane was founded at Beauport. Despite appearances and in spite of what some recent historians have claimed, the process of the medicalization of the insane encountered numerous obstacles in Québec including the private ownership of asylums, the weak role of the state, and also problems with the management of these institutions. Indeed, the asylum did not become a medical institution until 1890. This article outlines the obstacles met in this process, noting the marginal role of physicians and the general lack of what may be termed clinical psychiatry.
The York Factory medical journals are the only surviving medical ledgers in the 200-year history of the Hudson's Bay Company, written by two physicians posted at one of the Company's largest and pre-eminent posts, York Factory. The daily journals offer us a unique glimpse, albeit for a seven-year span from 1846 to 1852, into the incidence and prevalence, duration, severity, treatment, outcomes, and seasonality of illness and disease. Occupations are noted, as are age and gender, in many of the entries. There are a total of 1,653 cases seen by the two physicians over the time period, 5 percent of which are Native. Several women were seen by the physicians, primarily for gynecological disorders. Gastro-intestinal disorders were a major source of morbidity at this time and place.
While carrying out research in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia several years ago, I discovered A Catalogue of the Halifax Garrison Medical Library, dated 1846. I had believed that the only medical libraries in Halifax prior to 1868 were the personal libraries of the physicians and surgeons practising there. The existence of the Garrison Medical Library therefore altered my opinion about the availability of medical literature since this library was both extensive and current in its holdings. Furthermore, the cover page of the 1846 catalogue indicates that the library had been established 30 years earlier, in 1817.
In the 19th century tuberculosis was the major threat to health in Europe and North America. It was thought to be caused by heredity compounded by one's way of life and, even when proved to be an infection, these factors were thought to identify who would catch it. In 1854 Hermann Brehmer asserted that he could cure tuberculosis with a regimen of fresh air, exercise and good nutrition in a sanatorium. Although the medical establishment initially rejected Brehmer's ideas the sanatorium movement steadily caught hold, and within two decades was supported by eminent physicians. Rest replaced Brehmer's exercise, as the key remedy. The sanatorium regimen put Galenic principles of hygiene into practice.
Civil registration and vital statistics are important elements in the definition of a social body, the primary object whose health and well-being is the aim of social medicine. The failure of the federal government to organize a national system of civil registration in the Confederation era is placed in the context of a variety of sources of pressure for it to do so from doctors, social reformers, and provincial and municipal officials.
In the second half of 19th-century America, inebriety was defined as a disease of "civilized" life that affected the "better" classes of society. This formulation was based on the belief that the use of intoxicating substances was a perennial aspect of human nature that was distorted by the modern environment. Using a variety of medical and popular writings, this article explores the ways in which middle-class interpretations of the use of intoxicating substances were inextricably bound to ideas of human nature. Cravings for alcohol and drugs reflected the toll that progress had presumably wrought upon American minds and bodies even as the effects of intoxication seemingly revealed the primitive nature that remained.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century a separate team of women called the "night watch" was responsible for the night nursing in the London teaching hospitals. Rough, uneducated, and frequently the "scrubbers," or charwomen, who cleaned the halls and stairways in the hospitals in the daytime, the night watchers came to be closely identified with Dickens's Sarah Gamp. As the century progressed, the expanding capabilities of the new academic medicine forced an improvement in the standard of nursing. The difficulty in finding clinically experienced nurses who were willing to work nights at an affordable price, however, made it possible for the night watchers to remain in the new professionally organized hospital long after such unskilled and undisciplined workers had been phased out of other areas of the late Victorian workforce. By the end of the century when hospitals began rotating partially trained probationer, or student, nurses onto nights, the night watchers finally disappeared from the teaching hospitals.
This study considers the development of Western medicine in Palestine, focusing on the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society's hospital in Nazareth. This hospital—one of the earliest British medical institutions in the region—was created by the society in Palestine in 1866.
Almost nothing has been written about the history of maternal and child care in South East Asia. The issue however has a great amount of interest. For instance, French Indochina under colonial rule (1860-1954) experienced significant advancements in both areas. Writing their history helps to better understand the international dissemination of medical intervention towards pregnant women and their children and some of the movement's national characteristics. Maternal and child care rapidly became the only area within the health policy Indochina received before and after the establishment of an official health program (1905). Its rise also occurred during a period of great scientific change which necessarily had influence on its trends and applications. Certainly, the French Republic wanted to exploit its new territory. Consequently, the colonial government in Hanoi would concentrate on infant morbidity and mortality. Nevertheless, within a few years and especially between the two world wars, the administrators would even provide social welfare, particularly to babies and grown children. Maternal and child care were priorities for the Vietnamese territories. However the colonial health system took local pathological, sociocultural, and economic contexts and peninsular medical traditions into account. The system was based everywhere on maternity wards and indigenous midwives to achieve colonial goals about fighting mortality and educating populations in hygiene. The data indicates that France's moves towards offering health care to Indochinese people improved morbidity and rates and accelerated medical acculturation.
This study describes the medical books of three physicians in rural Newfoundland who followed each other chronologically. Spanning the years c.1860 to c.1970, the nearly 300 books prompt a variety of questions about the physicians themselves, their practices, and their reading habits. These enquiries raise further questions about the extent to which medical books are read for factual information or for contemplating more general issues about the nature of disease and the nature of the individual.
The smallpox epidemic that swept through the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia in 1862-63 was particularly devastating to the First Nations of the region. Colonists responded to the developments with a mixture of pity, revulsion, a smug sense of inevitability, and, above all, an overriding concern for their own self-interest. The colonial population may not have consciously attempted to devastate the First Nations populations, but their frequently negative attitudes towards them ensured that actions to prevent this occurrence were sporadic, poorly planned, counterproductive, or simply minimal.
This article examines the debates about drug addiction, as presented by medical and non-medical reformers in Victorian Canada, to explain the emergence of anti-narcotic legislation in the early twentieth century. Most of the studies of drug prohibition in Canada emphasize the anti-Chinese issues surrounding the drafting of the 1908 Opium Act. This study asserts that in order to understand why parliament unanimously accepted this legislation, we must look beyond the issue of anti-Chinese sentiment. It explores the discussions of drug addiction rhetoric. It concludes that the concern over both addiction in Canada and the Chinese in Canada drew upon parallel issues of freedom versus slavery, racial purity, and the need to protect the integrity of a moral and strong nation.