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Title: A socio-medical study of the first cholera epidemic in Britain, 1831-2, with an assessment of its influence on the development of public health
Author: Gatherer, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 0356
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1960
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Aim: To assess the historical significance of the first Cholera epidemic in Britain. Part One. The Soil: describes the political, social and medical background to the 1831-2 period. Some subjects previously neglected by medical historians are dicussed. - Improvement Commissions as Public Health bodies; the population surge at the end of the 18th century and whether due primarily to economic or medical factors; the part played by 18th century doctors in developing the "sanitary idea". Part Two. The Seed: Cholera had every characteristic most calculated to strike terror into a community. The Press for the first time played an important part in keeping the public informed about the disease. A great contagion/anticontagion controversy arose; a victory for anticontagionism gave strong medical support to social reformers. Part Three. The Growth: The Cholera visitation led to: Formation of Central Boards of Health - a laissez-faire Government forced to accept public health as a proper sphere for State action. Formation throughout the country of Local Boards of Health - the first nation-wide attempt at community health control. Two Local Boards are described for the first time, both accounts based on original, unpublished records. The general characteristics, problems and effectiveness of Local Boards are discussed, and their influence on subsequent rise of modern public health. Part Four. The Fruit: The chance occurrence of such a disease at such a time in our socio-medical history proves a blessing in disguise: it leads to a start of modern public health administration; to Medicine gaining in knowledge, hospitals and prestige; and to the addition of fear, self-interest and medlcal support to the growing demand for social reform.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cholera ; Public health