Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: bleeding

  • Bloodletting and the treatment of menstrual disorders in early modern England

    Rhianna ElliottCambridgeshire, United Kingdom Bloodletting, also known as “phlebotomy,” was a common preventive and therapeutic medical practice in early modern England. Its theoretical foundation was in humorism, the ancient medical system where bodily health depended on the balance between four fluid humors (blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile). Yet even amongst lay people with…

  • Blood under the moon: the role of astrology in surgery

    Margareta-Erminia Cassani Michigan, United States   Zodiac Man, Homo Signorum, from Guild Book of the Barber Surgeons, c 1486, BL MS Egerton, 2572, f. 50v.  Luminarium:  Encyclopedia Project Imagine your doctor telling you that you need surgery. Then they follow that unsettling news with something, well, a little strange sounding. They tell you that the date…

  • The barber-surgeons: Their history over the centuries

    Anusha Pillay Raipur, India   Bloodletting from the arm. Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. “His pole, with pewter basins hung, Black, rotten teeth in order strung, Rang’d cups that in the window stood, Lin’d with red rags, to look like blood, Did well his threefold trade explain, Who shav’d, drew teeth, and breath’d a vein.” –…

  • Notes from writing a character with a bleeding disorder

    Nicole HebdonBuffalo, New York, United States I have read two books that feature characters with bleeding disorders. The first was a used paperback with a neon green and blue cover, like bowling alley carpet under a black light. I do not remember the title or the author’s name or much of the plot, but I…

  • Female Genital Mutilation: Cultural practices, historical moments, and medical issues

    Alexandros ArgyriadisAgathi ArgyriadiLimassol, Cyprus Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as any procedure that involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.1 Female Genital Mutilation is a traditional practice, but is globally recognized as a violation…

  • Public health measures derived from the Jewish tradition: III. The Bris: Jewish ritual circumcision and hemophilia

    Matthew MigliozziDavid ForsteinSarah RindnerRobert SternNew York City, New York, United States Historically, Jewish contributions to public health measures have not been given adequate attribution. The previous articles in this series have documented (1) the ancient Jewish recognition of the importance of isolating individuals with an infectious disease; (2) recognition of tuberculosis as an infectious disorder…