Bulletin of the History of Medicine

Bulletin of the History of Medicine 76.1, Spring 2002

Contents

Articles

    Porto, Paulo A.
  • "Summus atque felicissimus salium": The Medical Relevance of the Liquor Alkahest
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    Subject Headings:
    • Paracelsus, 1493-1541 -- Influence.
    • Helmont, Jean Baptiste van, 1571-1644.
    • Alchemy -- Early works to 1800.
    • Medicine -- Europe -- History -- 17th century.
    Abstract:
      This paper analyzes the development of the concept of alkahest from its origins in the Paracelsian corpus to its mature form in the works of Joan Baptista van Helmont (1579-1644) and his successors. Historians of science have usually focused on the chemical aspects of the alkahest, taking into account especially the claims that it was a substance capable of dissolving all kinds of matter. This paper shows the medical implications of the alkahest: it was not only a "solvent," but an important means of revealing nature's secrets and of producing medicines. The properties ascribed to the alkahest fit perfectly within Helmontian theories about matter, disease, and cure.
    Keywords:
      alkahest, J. B. van Helmont, chemical philosophy, iatrochemistry, seventeenth-century chemistry, seventeenth-century medicine, preparation of medicines
    Crenner, Christopher.
  • Diagnosis and Authority in the Early-Twentieth-Century Medical Practice of Richard C. Cabot
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cabot, Richard C. (Richard Clarke), 1868-1939 -- Contributions in diagnosis.
    • Diagnosis -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Clinical medicine -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      This paper examines diagnostic practices using the early twentieth-century medical literature and the patient correspondence and records from the clinic of Richard Cabot. What shaped medicine's rapidly growing persuasive authority in the twentieth century? Diagnostic expertise demonstrated the doctor's control over disease but offered a service of ambiguous value to patients. Cabot and his peers offered differing views on how new diagnostic techniques would influence their relationships to their patients. In his busy private clinic Cabot put into effect an exacting diagnostic process, modeled on his innovative Clinicopathological Conferences. The people who came to the clinic often sought his technical expertise but accepted his diagnostic practices and opinions sometimes only provisionally.
    Keywords:
      diagnosis, medical practice, twentieth-century Boston, medical authority, doctor-patient relationship, medical technology, Richard C. Cabot, Francis W. Peabody, Alfred Worcester
    Davies, Megan J.
  • Competent Professionals and Modern Methods: State Medicine in British Columbia during the 1930s
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    Subject Headings:
    • Medical policy -- British Columbia -- History -- 20th century.
    • Public health -- British Columbia -- History -- 20th century.
    • Pattullo, Thomas Dufferin, 1873-1956.
    Abstract:
      Little has been written about the formation of state medicine in early-twentieth-century Canada, particularly during the Depression era. Indeed, many historians and policy analysts have assumed that this was a time of stagnation and retrenchment in state health provision. To foster a more nuanced analysis of the formation of the Canadian medical state during the Depression decade, this article focuses on British Columbia and the public health initiatives brought in by the provincial Liberal government of T. D. Pattullo. In B.C., an energetic cadre of policymakers and bureaucrats sought to reform existing services by using professionally educated personnel, centralized administrative hierarchies, community education, and the surveillance of target health populations. Funding from the provincial government and the Rockefeller Foundation permitted considerable expansion in a range of public health sectors that included vital statistics, rural health centers, tuberculosis and venereal disease treatment schemes, and laboratory services. This article tells the story of this important period by bringing together details of the professional and personal lives of key individuals--the majority of whom were men--and exploring the new provincial health programs that were developed in B.C. during the interwar years.
    Keywords:
      professionalism, public health, tuberculosis, venereal disease, twentieth-century Canada, state medicine, gender, public health nursing, health centers, vital statistics, Rockefeller Foundation
    Watkins, Elizabeth Siegel.
  • "Doctor, Are You Trying to Kill Me?": Ambivalence about the Patient Package Insert for Estrogen
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    Subject Headings:
    • Drugs -- Labeling -- Law and legislation -- United States -- Public opinion.
    • Estrogen -- Therapeutic use -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Public opinion -- United States.
    Abstract:
      In 1976, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed new requirements for patient labeling for estrogens prescribed for menopausal and postmenopausal women. This paper explores the variety of responses to this proposal from women and their husbands, feminist and consumer activists, physicians, pharmacists, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, as represented in letters written to the FDA. The drug industry and the medical profession opposed patient labeling on the grounds of cost and a resentment of governmental intrusion. Feminists and consumer advocates were in favor of the idea, but the response from current estrogen users was mixed: most women wished to be better informed, but many expressed concern that estrogen would be removed from the market. This ambivalence suggests unresolved tensions regarding conceptions of female aging, the medical management of menopause and aging, informed consent in medicine, and governmental regulation of medical practice. The debate thus represents an important moment in the history of women's health care.
    Keywords:
      estrogen, menopause, drug labeling, Food and Drug Administration, patient package insert, women's health movement, informed consent

Notes and Comment

    Johnson, Niall P. A. S.
    Mueller, Juergen.
  • Updating the Accounts: Global Mortality of the 1918-1920 "Spanish" Influenza Pandemic
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    Subject Headings:
    • Influenza -- History -- 20th century.
    • Epidemics -- History -- 20th century.
    • Mortality -- Statistics.
    Abstract:
      The influenza pandemic of 1918-20 is recognized as having generally taken place in three waves, starting in the northern spring and summer of 1918. This pattern of three waves, however, was not universal: in some locations influenza seems to have persisted into or returned in 1920. The recorded statistics of influenza morbidity and mortality are likely to be a significant understatement. Limitations of these data can include nonregistration, missing records, misdiagnosis, and nonmedical certification, and may also vary greatly between locations. Further research has seen the consistent upward revision of the estimated global mortality of the pandemic, which a 1920s calculation put in the vicinity of 21.5 million. A 1991 paper revised the mortality as being in the range 24.7-39.3 million. This paper suggests that it was of the order of 50 million. However, it must be acknowledged that even this vast figure may be substantially lower than the real toll, perhaps as much as 100 percent understated.
    Keywords:
      influenza, pandemic, mortality, 1918

Book Reviews

    Siraisi, Nancy G.
  • The Trotula: A Medieval Compendium of Women's Medicine (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Green, Monica Helen, ed. Trotula: a medieval compendium of women's medicine.
    • Gynecology -- Early works to 1800.
    Drayton, Ralph.
  • Medicine from the Black Death to the French Disease (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • French, R. K. (Roger Kenneth), ed. Medicine from the Black Death to the French disease.
    • Medicine, Medieval -- Europe -- History.
    Dinges, Martin.
  • Pest, Heilsangst, und Frömmigkeit: Studien zur religiösen Bewältigung der Pest am Ausgang des Mittelalters (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Esser, Thilo, 1968- Pest, Heilsangst, und Frömmigkeit: Studien zur religiösen Bewältigung der Pest am Ausgang des Mittelalters.
    • Europe -- Religious life and customs.
    Carmichael, Ann G.
  • The Disordered Body: Epidemic Disease and Cultural Transformation (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hatty, Suzanne. Disordered body: epidemic disease and cultural transformation.
    • Hatty, James, 1923-
    • Epidemics -- History.
    Baldwin, Martha.
  • Natural Particulars: Nature and the Disciplines in Renaissance Europe (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Grafton, Anthony, ed. Natural particulars: nature and the disciplines in Renaissance Europe.
    • Siraisi, Nancy G., ed.
    • Nature -- Congresses.
    De Renzi, Silvia.
  • The Monster in the Machine: Magic, Medicine, and the Marvelous in the Time of the Scientific Revolution (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hanafi, Zakiya, 1959- Monster in the machine: magic, medicine, and the marvelous in the time of the scientific revolution.
    • Monsters -- Italy -- History -- 17th century.
    Arrizabalaga, Jon.
  • Humanistas médicos en el Renacimiento vallisoletano (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Blanco Pérez, José Ignacio. Humanistas médicos en el Renacimiento vallisoletano.
    • Medical writing -- History -- 16th century.
    Reeds, Karen.
  • Pietro Andrea Mattioli: Siena, 1501-Trento, 1578: La vita, le opere: con l'identificazione delle piante (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ferri, Sara, ed. Pietro Andrea Mattioli: Siena, 1501-Trento, 1578: la vita, le opere: con l'identificazione delle piante.
    • Mattioli, Pietro Andrea, 1500-1577.
    Payne, Lynda Ellen Stephenson.
  • The Notorious Astrological Physician of London: Works and Days of Simon Forman (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Traister, Barbara Howard. Notorious astrological physician of London: works and days of Simon Forman.
    • Forman, Simon, 1552-1611.
    Giglioni, Guido.
  • Ecrits physiologiques et médicaux (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Descartes, René, 1596-1650. Ecrits physiologiques et médicaux.
    • Aucante, Vincent, ed.
    • Descartes, René, 1596-1650 -- Views on medicine.
    Cook, Harold John.
  • Robert Boyle (1627-91): Scrupulosity and Science (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hunter, Michael Cyril William. Robert Boyle (1627-91): scrupulosity and science.
    • Boyle, Robert, 1627-1691.
    Müller-Wille, Staffan.
  • "Qualitates vegetabilium", "vires medicamentorum" und "oeconomicus usus plantarum" bei Carl von Linné (1707-1778): Erste Versuch einer zielgerichteten Forschung nach Arznei- und Nutzpflanzen auf wissenschaftlicher Grundlage (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hövel, Gerlinde. "Qualitates vegetabilium", "vires medicamentorum" und "oeconomicus usus plantarum" bei Carl von Linné (1707-1778): erste Versuch einer zielgerichteten Forschung nach Arznei- und Nutzpflanzen auf wissenschaftlicher Grundlage.
    • Materia medica, Vegetable.
    Rock, John A.
  • The Obstetrician's Armamentarium: Historical Obstetric Instruments and Their Inventors (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hibbard, Bryan M. Obstetrician's armamentarium: historical obstetric instruments and their inventors.
    • Obstetrics -- Instruments -- History.
    Bertoloni Meli, Domenico.
  • Commentarius de formatione cordis in ovo incubato (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Haller, Albrecht von, 1708-1777. Commentarius de formatione cordis in ovo incubato.
    • Monti, Maria Teresa, ed.
    • Reproduction -- Early works to 1800.
    Timmermann, Carsten.
  • Die heimliche Krankheit: Eine Geschichte des Suchtbegriffs (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wiesemann, Claudia, 1958- Heimliche Krankheit: eine Geschichte des Suchtbegriffs.
    • Substance abuse -- History.
    Rodriguez de Romo, Ana Cecilia.
  • Contaminación e insalubridad en la ciudad de México en el siglo XVIII (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rodríguez, María Eugenia. Contaminación e insalubridad en la ciudad de México en el siglo XVIII.
    • Sanitation -- Mexico -- Mexico City -- History -- 18th century.
    Lawrence, Christopher.
  • The Scottish Enlightenment: Essays in Reinterpretation (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wood, Paul, 1952-, ed. Scottish enlightenment: essays in reinterpretation.
    • Scotland -- Intellectual life -- 18th century.
    Rothstein, William G.
  • The People's Doctors: Samuel Thomson and the American Botanical Movement, 1790-1860 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Haller, John S. People's doctors: Samuel Thomson and the American botanical movement, 1790-1860.
    • Thomson, Samuel, 1769-1843.
    Wilson, Renate.
  • Dutch Transatlantic Medicine Trade in the Eighteenth Century under the Cover of the West India Company (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rutten, A. M. G. Dutch transatlantic medicine trade in the eighteenth century under the cover of the West India Company.
    • Pharmaceutical industry -- Netherlands -- History -- 18th century.
    Barkan, Elazar.
  • Race, Science, and Medicine, 1700-1960 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Harris, Bernard, 1961-, ed. Race, science, and medicine, 1700-1960.
    • Ernst, Waltraud, 1955-, ed.
    • Medicine -- Social aspects -- History.
    Condran, Gretchen A.
  • Health and Welfare during Industrialization (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Steckel, Richard H. (Richard Hall), 1944-, ed. Health and welfare during industrialization.
    • Floud, Roderick, ed.
    • Public health -- Economic aspects.
    Lawrence, Christopher.
  • Spreading Germs: Disease Theories and Medical Practice in Britain, 1865-1900.
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    Subject Headings:
    • Worboys, Michael, 1948- Spreading germs: disease theories and medical practice in Britain, 1865-1900.
    • Public health -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
    Silverstein, Arthur M.
  • The Plato of Praed Street: The Life and Times of Almroth Wright (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dunnill, M. S. Plato of Praed Street: the life and times of Almroth Wright.
    • Wright, Almroth, 1861-1947.
    Carter, K. Codell (Kay Codell).
  • Pioneers of Medicine and Their Impact on Tuberculosis (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Daniel, Thomas M. Pioneers of medicine and their impact on tuberculosis.
    • Tuberculosis -- History.
    Pierach, Claus A.
  • Sozialgeschichte der Tuberkulose: Vom Kaiserreich bis zum Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs unter besonderer Berürcksichtigung Württembergs (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hähner-Rombach, Sylvelyn. Sozialgeschichte der Tuberkulose: Vom Kaiserreich bis zum Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs unter besonderer Berürcksichtigung Württembergs.
    • Tuberculosis -- Social aspects -- Germany -- Württemberg -- History.
    Watts, S. J. (Sheldon J.)
  • Health, Medicine and Empire: Perspectives on Colonial India (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Pati, Biswamoy, ed. Health, medicine and empire: perspectives on colonial India.
    • Harrison, Mark, ed.
    • Public health -- India -- History -- British occupation, 1765-1947.
    Morris, David B.
  • From Lesion to Metaphor: Chronic Pain in British, French and German Medical Writings, 1800-1914 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hodgkiss, Andrew. From lesion to metaphor: chronic pain in British, French and German medical writings, 1800-1914.
    • Chronic pain -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
    Osborne, Michael A.
  • Defeated Flesh: Medicine, Welfare, and Warfare in the Making of Modern France (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Taithe, Bertrand. Defeated flesh: medicine, welfare, and warfare in the making of modern France.
    • Paris (France) -- History -- Commune, 1871.
    Greenblatt, Samuel H.
  • Lost Words: Narratives of Language and the Brain, 1825-1926 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Jacyna, L. S. Lost words: narratives of language and the brain, 1825-1926.
    • Aphasia -- History.
    Sengoopta, Chandak.
  • One Hundred Years of Masochism: Literary Texts, Social and Cultural Contexts (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Finke, Michael C., ed. One hundred years of masochism: literary texts, social and cultural contexts.
    • Niekerk, Carl, ed.
    • Masochism in literature.
    Verbrugge, Martha H.
  • Inner Hygiene: Constipation and the Pursuit of Health in Modern Society (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Whorton, James C., 1942- Inner hygiene: constipation and the pursuit of health in modern society.
    • Constipation -- History -- 19th century.
    Breeden, James O.
  • A Southern Practice: The Diary and Autobiography of Charles A. Hentz, M.D. (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hentz, Charles A. (Charles Arnould), 1827-1894. Southern practice: the diary and autobiography of Charles A. Hentz, M.D.
    • Stowe, Steven M., 1946-, ed.
    • Hentz, Charles A. (Charles Arnould), 1827-1894.
    Kay, Gwen E.
  • The Pure Food, Drink, and Drug Crusaders, 1879-1914 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Goodwin, Lorine Swainston, 1925- Pure food, drink, and drug crusaders, 1879-1914.
    • Food adulteration and inspection -- United States -- History.
    McCall, Nancy.
  • Snowshoe & Lancet: Memoirs of a Frontier Newfoundland Doctor, 1937-1948 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ecke, Robert Skidmore, 1909- Snowshoe & lancet: memoirs of a frontier Newfoundland doctor, 1937-1948.
    • Ecke, Robert Skidmore, 1909-
    Morman, Edward T.
  • Devices & Desires: Gender, Technology, and American Nursing (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sandelowski, Margarete. Devices & desires: gender, technology, and American nursing.
    • Nursing -- United States -- History.
    Proctor, Robert.
  • The Breast Cancer Wars: Hope, Fear and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth-Century America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lerner, Barron H. Breast cancer wars: hope, fear and the pursuit of a cure in Twentieth-century America.
    • Breast -- Cancer -- History -- United States.
    Burnham, John C. (John Chynoweth)
  • Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Courtwright, David T., 1952- Forces of habit: drugs and the making of the modern world.
    • Substance abuse -- History.
    Braslow, Joel T.
  • American Psychiatry after World War II (1944-1994) (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Menninger, Roy W., 1926-, ed. American psychiatry after World War II (1944-1994)
    • Nemiah, John C. (John Case), 1918-, ed.
    • Psychiatry -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Pernick, Martin S.
  • Doctors in the Movies: Boil the Water and Just Say Aah (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dans, Peter E. Doctors in the movies: boil the water and just say Aah.
    • Physicians in motion pictures.
    McKusick, Victor A. (Victor Almon)
  • A Passion for DNA: Genes, Genomes, and Society (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Watson, James D. Passion for DNA: genes, genomes, and society.
    • Genetics -- Social aspects.



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