Tag Archives: Summer 2015

St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London

Rebecca Green Mas Ahmed United Kingdom   St. Batholomew’s Hospital courtyard with the Fountain as it stands today Source: photograph taken by Farah Aga, used with kind permission. There is something about St Bartholomew’s Hospital, something – it may be in its age, its history or its associations – which creates towards it and, in […]

Broadmoor: 150 years in the life of a secure psychiatric hospital

Gwen Adshead United Kingdom   Broadmoor Hospital If you type “Broadmoor” into a common search engine, two residential centers will be recommended to you. One is a luxurious spa in Colorado, with cheerful and enthusiastic testimonials (“I shall certainly stay at the Broadmoor again!”). The other is a maximum security psychiatric hospital, the subject of […]

You’re no fi’ Glasgow: memories of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary

Christopher Frank Kingston, Canada    The Glasgow Royal Infirmary We know famous hospitals for the care they provide, for eminent physicians who have worked in them, or for their architectural heritage. Hospitals are rarely famous for their patients. The Glasgow Royal Infirmary dates back to the eighteenth century and is best known as the place […]

Ellis Island Hospital, from quarantine to freedom

 Ellis Island Hospital Overview. U.S. National Archives (12) Annabelle S. Slingerland Leiden, the Netherlands   The recent news and concerns about immigration into Europe and other parts of the world bring to mind similar events and fears prevailing in the years during which millions of people immigrated into the United States of America. During that […]

Alcatraz Hospital revisited—patients behind bars

Annabelle Slingerland Leiden, the Netherlands   Alcatraz Island While many hospitals and their locations become historic icons for the accomplishments of their staff, Alcatraz Hospital is famous for its very walls, its infamous patients, and treatment. It was a hospital inside a maximum security U.S. federal penitentiary on Alcatraz Island, which covers twenty-two acres only […]

Quarantining souls: the impact of plague village

Anahita Dua Wisconsin, United States   Eyam church and graveyard where plague victims are buried. Infectious diseases have debilitated or ended more lives in history than any other illness. Quarantine, from the Italian quaranta, has been implemented since the fourteenth century as the cornerstone of a coordinated effort to control the spread of disease.1 Isolation […]

The Lord’s Prayer

In his day Dr. Donald Hunter was widely respected and greatly feared. He was respected for his knowledge of occupational medicine and of illnesses caused by noxious agents. He was feared because during membership examinations he was reputed to produce a rock out of his pocket and ask the terrified candidate what it was and […]

Tom Jones Medical

In this great early English novel Henry Fielding describes several episodes that illustrate the way medicine was practiced in the days when doctors bled and purged their patients unconstrained by the shackles of evidence based medicine. The story begins with a country squire surprised to find in his bed “an infant wrapped in some coarse […]

The Lifted Veil by George Eliot

A young and celebrated doctor, friend of M***, attempts a transfusion with his own blood. The operation succeeds and the dead woman is revived. In this brief flash of life, she recognizes Mme *** who has just entered the room, and “unveils” her guilt: “You plan to poison your husband,” she cries. — George Eliot, […]

King Henry VIII: More ailments than wives

King Henry VIII The younger sons of medieval kings would generally be doomed to live out their lives in relative obscurity unless raised to the crown by courtesy of the plague, smallpox, or pneumonia. Such was the case of Henry VIII, remembered among other achievements for his seven wives but also by his many bodily […]