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Lecture

Feb 26.pdf


Department
History
Course Code
HIST 104
Professor
Robert Brain

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Technology and Medical Diagnosis
Read Harrison chapter 4, and article that will be sent to us: ‘Give me a laboratory and I
will raise the world’
-we’ve been considering the physician, patient, and disease
-we’re now thinking about it in terms of the physician-patient relationship
-up until a point, the relationship was the doctor listening to how the patient described
their illness
-this changed in favour of using diagnostic technologies
-in the late 18th century, hospitals were opening up and a wider variety of people were
attending hospitals
!-used to be just for the poor, but middle class people began going in them,
!generally separated from the lower classes
-during the mechanical revolution
-this tied in with the new conception of the body as a machine
!-illness as a mechanical malfunction in the body
-simple data collecting and statistical accumulation of data was becoming popular
!-this changed the notion of disease
-the common idea was that disease was caused by lesions
-disease is closely linked to the understanding of anatomy, particularly because of the
autopsies connected with disease
-Herman Helmholtz invented the Opthalmoscope- to look at eyes
-helped to inspect the internal organs during life
-people were confused by the glowing of animals’ eyes in the dark (storing light like a
battery?)
-Cumming studied this, thought the shine may be because of a disorder
-Hermann Helmholtz conducted an experiment with a lamp and two subjects with a
glass plate between them
-with a perfectly concaved enough glass plate, he was able to construct an image of the
total anatomy of the eye
-also discovered why the pupil was black
-were able to learn about vision defects without relying solely on the patient’s
description (would lie to not be conscripted)
-the throat was next being inspected
!-the larynx was under scrutiny
-Laryngoscope was used to investigate the larynx with a mirror
-they had never seen so far down a living patient’s throat
-Johann Czermak, Spectatoria showing movement of the frog’s heart, 1860’s
!-he had shown the moving parts of the larynx, and was now showing the
!internal movements of the frog
-the throat still seemed mechanical when viewed
-surgery was incredibly uncommon before late 19th century because the body would go
into shock and was likely to die from infection
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