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Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Future Publications

Please note:

• The preprints available below have not been typeset or paginated, and further edits are possible. They will be removed from this website once the issues in which they appear are published in print and on MUSE.

TO APPEAR IN - upcoming issues of the Bulletin of the History of Medicine.

Syphilization and Its Discontents:
Experimental Inoculation against Syphilis at the London Lock Hospital

By: Anne Hanley
PDF (Posted January 5, 2017)

SUMMARY: In 1867 James Lane and George Gascoyen, surgeons to the London Lock Hospital, compiled a report on their experiments with a new and controversial treatment. The procedure, known as “syphilization,” saw patients be inoculated with infective matter taken from a primary syphilitic ulcer or the artificial sores produced in another patient. Each patient received between 102 and 468 inoculations to determine whether syphilization could cure syphilis and produce immunity against reinfection. This article examines the theory and practice of this experimental treatment. Conducted against the backdrop of the Contagious Diseases Acts, the English syphilization experiments have been largely forgotten. Yet they constitute an important case study of how doctors thought about the etiology and pathology of syphilis, as well as their responsibilities to their patients, at a crucial moment before the advent of the bacteriological revolution.
KEYWORDS: syphilis, human experimentation, inoculation, disease immunity, medical ethics

Banning the Soviet Lobotomy:
Psychiatry, Ethics, and Professional Politics during Late Stalinism

By: Benjamin Zajicek
PDF (Posted January 5, 2017)

SUMMARY: This article examines how lobotomy came to be banned in the Soviet Union in 1950. The author finds that Soviet psychiatrists viewed lobotomy as a treatment of “last resort,” and justified its use on the grounds that it helped make patients more manageable in hospitals and allowed some to return to work. Lobotomy was challenged by psychiatrists who saw mental illness as a “whole body” process and believed that injuries caused by lobotomy were therefore more significant than changes to behavior. Between 1947 and 1949, these theoretical and ethical debates within Soviet psychiatry became politicized. Psychiatrists competing for institutional control attacked their rivals’ ideas using slogans drawn from Communist Party ideological campaigns. Party authorities intervened in psychiatry in 1949 and 1950, persecuting Jewish psychiatrists and demanding adherence to Ivan Pavlov’s theories. Psychiatrists’ existing conflict over lobotomy was adopted as part of the party’s own campaign against harmful Western influence in Soviet society.
KEYWORDS: psychiatry, lobotomy, psychosurgery, Soviet Union, Pavlov, medical ethics

Revolutionizing Cuban Psychiatry: The Freud Wars, 1955–1970
By: Jennifer Lynn Lambe
PDF (Posted January 5, 2017)

SUMMARY: This article traces the battle over Freud within Cuban psychiatry from its pre-1959 origins through the “disappearance” of Freud by the early 1970s. It devotes particular attention to the visit of two Soviet psychiatrists to Cuba in the early 1960s as part of a broader campaign to promote Pavlov. The decade-long controversy over Freud responded to both theoretical and political concerns. If for some Freud represented political conservatism and theoretical mystification, Pavlov held out the promise of a dialectical materialist future. Meanwhile, other psychiatrists clung to psychodynamic perspectives, or at least the possibility of heterogeneity. The Freudians would end up on the losing side of this battle, with many departing Cuba over the course of the 1960s. But banishing Freud did not necessarily make for stalwart Pavlovians—or vanguard revolutionaries. Psychiatry would find itself relegated to a handmaiden position in the work of revolutionary mental engineering, with the government itself occupying the vanguard.
KEYWORDS: psychiatry, Cuba, Freud, Pavlov, Cold War, Soviet Union, psychoanalysis

As Long as Parents Can Accept Them:
Medical Disclosure, Risk, and Disability in Twentieth-Century American Adoption Practice

By: Sandra Sufian
PDF (Posted January 5, 2017)

SUMMARY: This article reviews adoption debates about the disclosure of children’s medical history in the twentieth century, noting shifts in the prescription of how much and what to tell adoptive applicants. I look at how adoption professional debates throughout the twentieth century around the disclosure of a child’s medical history reveal the ways in which these professionals tried to deal with issues of predictability, risk, adoptability, and acceptability when it came to the persistent question of disability in adoptive family making. I consider how this management is similar to and different from histories of reproduction. I argue that as child eligibility gradually expanded to include children labeled disabled, and as adoption moved from a being a parent-centered practice to a child-centered one, professionals more intensely negotiated the management and communication of disability risk as a way to both mitigate the possibility of a failed placement and facilitate a successful one.
KEYWORDS: adoption, disability, family, children, informed consent, risk, parenthood

Bulletin of the History of Medicine

Bulletin of the History of Medicine is the official journal of the American Association for the History of Medicine.

Volume: 91 (2017)
Frequency: Quarterly
Print ISSN: 0007-5140
Online ISSN: 1086-3176