The trial of a 14th century female doctor


23 Responses to “The trial of a 14th century female doctor”

  1. jandrese says:

    That’s not a catch-22.  There is no circular dependance.  That’s just sexism in the middle ages. 

  2. Glen Able says:

    It’s a Catch-6, or 7, tops.

    Otherwise it’s an interesting story, although most of what I just read seems to be about the history of the story, rather than telling the story itself.

  3. In 1322 how could it really have mattered that much? How much sound medicine was there to learn back then?  And since she she seems to have mostly practiced gynecology and midwifery, what she learned from folk traditions was probably as good or better than what she could have learned from professional training.

    This all seems to be the result of sexism and had nothing to do with her competence.

    • jandrese says:

      She didn’t have a license to administer those leeches!  She may have unbalanced a vital humor! 

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        I’ve helped apply leeches to a patient’s face, thank you very much.  It’s modern medicine now.

        • Just because you’re doing something in the modern day doesn’t make it modern medicine. Or at least that’s what the courts have repeatedly claimed in their refusal to overturn my sentence.

        • Yes, leeches are quite helpful in draining blood from an area with damaged capillaries. Surgery can often restore bloodflow to an area without being able to restore bloodflow out of an area. A leech can draw excess blood from that area and allow the capillaries that carry blood away time to regenerate. Leeches cut through skin gently so there is no pain, they secrete anticoagulants so they don’t get clotted blood in their guts, and they have a few antibacterial secretions that prevent infection for both parties.

      • I think part of the problem might have been that she wasn’t into the leeches at all. In the French Revolution they killed a lot of the doctors. Army surgeons and hospital nuns became the only medical authorities. The army guys said rinse wounds with plenty of water and change bandages frequently, amputate if that isn’t working. The nuns said keep people warm and clean, and let things run their course. The standard of medical care went way up at that point.

      • Lemoutan says:

        Even worse, she probably saved someone who would otherwise have perished. So Hitler.

    • Annelie says:

      She was more likely a general practitioner, as her patients were men and women. As for the question whether it mattered at all back then: YES it did. What a desaster if suddenly all the “wise women” weren’t allowed to treat patients. No male doctor wanted to examine female private parts.

  4. The ban on women in medical schools would last for centuries. Hence Dr. James Barry’s incredible story.

  5. welcomeabored says:

    I had to Google it, given the spelling:  It’s a Hebrew girl’s name and it means ‘supplant’.

  6. feuerstein says:

    Ok, ok! I’m most very quite sure dat she did not really mean das ‘Cat-shit 22′ but rather die utter won. “Cat-shit between a rocket and a hard place!” Eye-kah-rumba!

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