Mending Bodies, Saving Souls

Mending Bodies, Saving Souls : A History of Hospitals

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By chronicling the transformations of hospitals from houses of mercy to tools for confinement, from dwellings of rehabilitation to spaces for clinical teaching and research, from rooms for birthing and dying to institutions of science and technology, this book provides a historical approach to understanding of today's hospitals. The story is told in a dozen episodes which illustrate hospitals in particular times and places, covering important themes and developments in the history of medicine and therapeutics, from ancient Greece to the era of AIDS. This book furnishes a unique insight into the world of meanings and emotions associated with hospital life and patienthood by including narratives by both patients and care givers. By conceiving of hospitals as houses of order capable of taming the chaos associated with suffering, illness, and death, we can better understand the significance of their ritualized routines and rules. From their beginnings, hospitals were places of spiritual and physical recovery. They should continue to respond to all human needs. As traditional testimonials to human empathy and benevolence, hospitals must endure as spaces of healing.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 736 pages
  • 170.18 x 238.76 x 43.18mm | 1,202.01g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 0195055233
  • 9780195055238
  • 1,248,105

Review quote

Dr. Risse brings the patient, pilgrim to the "foreign land" of hospitals, to the center of this magnificent, poignant history of medicine. Telling the experiences of actual patients, doctors, and others in hospitals at different times and in different places, Risse brings the hospital to life, vividly, as a place of rituals where some human beings struggle to live; others do the best they can in the face of available medical knowledge and often dangerous social
conditions. A remarkable, moving, humane book - a major contribution to the history of medicine, and highly recommended for the general reader. * Rosemary A. Stevens, Stanley I. Sheerr Endowed Term Professor in Arts and Sciences, University fo Pennsylvania * The author takes his readers from Greek and Roman times through the pangs of suffering in the early Christian era, the surge of the Enlightenment as exemplified by Edinburgh, Vienna, and Paris, to surgeons such as Warren and Lister and the modern research giants of municipal mercy. Just to review this immense background of our ere is a great treat; Dr. Risse's abundant research and sophisticated interpretation makes this book an intellectual triumph. * Francis D. Moore, MD, Moseley Professor of Surgery, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School *
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Table of contents

INTRODUCTION ; 1. Pre-Christian Healing Places ; 2. Early Christian Hospitality: Shelters and Infirmaries ; 3. Church and Laity: Partnership in Hospital Care ; 4. Hospitals as Segregation and Confinement Tools: Leprosy and Plague ; 5. Enlightenment: Medicalization of the Hospital ; 6. Human Bodies Revealed: Hospitals in Post-Revolutionary Paris ; 7. Modern Surgery in Hospitals: Development of Anesthesia and Antisepsis ; 8. The Limits of Medical Science: Hospitals in Fin de Siecle Europe and America ; 9. Main Streets Civic Pride: The American General Hospital as Professional Workshop ; 10. Hospitals at the Crossroads: Government, Society, and Catholicism in America, 1950-1975 ; 11. Hospitals as Biomedical Showcases: Academic Health Centers and Organ Transplantation ; 12. Caring for the Incurable: AIDS at San Francisco General Hospital ; 13. Conclusion: Towards the Next Millennium: Hospitals as Houses of Technology
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