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Dangers and disorders: the decline of the Dominican Frater Medicus.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Social history of medicine : the journal of the Society for the Social History of Medicine / SSHM
Publication Date
Volume
16
Issue
2
Pages
169–191
Identifiers
PMID: 14518475
Source
Medline

Abstract

The provision of care for the sick during the Middle Ages has had a long and close association with members of religious Orders. However, little is known about the extent of the practice of medicine by the Orders of friars, the identity of the practitioners, or any problems arising as a result of their work. This article discusses the attitudes of the Dominican Order to the knowledge and practice of medicine by its friars and investigates some of the reasons that led to a long series of restrictions on such work. Examination of the minutes of the Order's General and Provincial Chapter meetings shows that many of the problems resulting from medical practice by friars were associated with the precepts of conciliar legislation and with particular concerns for the Order's conduct and reputation.Set in the context of the external pressures being imposed by the secular medical profession, the evidence explains the decline and eventual disappearance of the Dominican medical friar.

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