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Driven by FearEpidemics and Isolation in San Francisco's House of Pestilence$
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Guenter B. Risse

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039843

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039843.001.0001

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Hope for Cures

Hope for Cures

Nature or Science

(p.152) Chapter 8 Hope for Cures
Driven by Fear

Guenter B. Risse

University of Illinois Press

This chapter documents the efforts of the nineteenth-century medical community in the search for better cures and means of treatment for patients suffering from loathsome diseases. Fuzzy professional ethics and ambiguous public sentiment came to guide physicians in their slow march toward modern therapeutics. The less risky approach of simply letting nature take its course collided with a growing desire to test new drugs at the bedside. Thus the chapter recounts the advances made in medical sciences in the slow march toward modern therapeutics, and also discusses the drawbacks of scientific research during this period. In their quest for new knowledge about disease, nineteenth-century physicians even periodically resorted to human experimentation.

Keywords:   cures, nature, science, human experimentation, palliation, loathsome diseases, medical sciences, medical research, nineteenth-century physicians

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