Medical Culture in Revolutionary America: Feuds, Duels and a Court Martial

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"Medical Culture in Revolutionary America takes place at a time when American medicine was caught in a period of catastrophic change. This study focuses on doctors' feuds and duels, yellow fever epidemics in Philadelphia, and a court-martial of the medical director of army hospitals in the Revolutionary War." "Religious, economic, and political perspectives on healing and the medical marketplace tell the story of medicine struggling in the young nation to create a new identity. The medical profession faced competitive practices that aggravated existing physician feuds, even as patients accrued greater value through a balance of power, their willingness to purchase services, and their loyalty to a given physician's practice. The promise of progress offered by anatomy and dissection required corpses, and corpses implied body-snatching. Popular riots would attend efforts by medical schools to gain access to bodies, either independently or from a proliferating underground industry that grew up to supply them." "Even before the yellow fever epidemic of the 1790s turned Philadelphia into a crucible, testing residual as well as emerging medical theories and therapeutics, physicians argued over competition for patients and students, their professional reputation. the rewards of their profession, and the accumulation of symbolic capital. These feuds are considered in the light of honor and reputation and how they constituted an informal, nonlegal medical order within which physicians practiced their craft." Intended as a study that addresses historical and cultural issues of both medicine and the law, this book will interest students of American studies, as well as those who value aninterdisciplinary approach that illustrates the interfaces that history and culture have offered to medical and legal questions across this nation's development.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838641903
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson
  • Publication date: 3/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7

Introduction 9

1 Theory 17

2 Medical History 34

3 Quacks and Corpses 60

4 Medical Feuds in Philadelphia 77

5 Medical Feuds in the Revolutionary Army 116

Notes 178

Bibliography 208

Index 223

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