Blood saga: hemophilia, AIDS, and the survival of a community

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Blood saga: hemophilia, AIDS, and the survival of a community

Medical History
Cambridge University Press
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Book Reviews Strasbourg in 1820, was so impressed by this cure that he entered into correspondence with Hahnemann and even met him personally. From about 1830 onwards Des Guidi practised homoeopathy in Lyons and remained for the rest of his life a faithful pupil of Hahnemann, who himself moved to Paris in 1835. At that time there were already about fifty homoeopaths throughout France. By quoting many case histories in full, Dr Baur has put together a valuable research tool. His comments on the case books are both cogent and authoritative. However, the publisher does not tell us that this is only a new edition of a two- volume work which appeared first in 1985/86. This also explains why some important medico-historical works on Lyons, written by Olivier Faure in the late 1980s and early 1990s, do not appear in the bibliography. It is a pity that Dr Baur was not asked or perhaps was not willing to revise his pioneering work on Des Guidi's case books in the light of recent research in the history of medicine and homoeopathy in France. Readers who are not familiar with the history of the placebo may be surprised to find that Des Guidi-like his famous master-knew exactly what the patient expected from him and used placebos (marked 0 in Des Guidi's case books) to soothe the patient either before or between homoeopathic treatments. Also curious is the economic aspect of doctor- patient communication. Judging from the case books, it seems to have been not uncommon to pay the doctor's fee in kind, which Des Guidi refused. He charged his patients between five and twenty French francs for a single treatment. Those who are interested in the history of medicine in Lyons will find a lot of local doctors and hospitals mentioned in these case books. One gets the impression that Des Guidi co-operated with many of them although he knew that some did not think very highly of the new art of healing coming from Germany. And those readers interested in the history of the patient will find this book a mine of inform

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