- The earliest health boards (or special magistracies) appeared during the time of the Black Death (1348).
- They were set up to help coordinate the treatment and control of the plague which was especially devastating southern European cities.
- They were initially temporary emergency councils, and hence disbanded as the threat from the Black Death subsided.
- Did not appear in Italy until around the mid-fifteenth century.
- The city of Milan led the way with securing this valuable public body.
- Permanent health boards then subsequently developed in Palermo and Turin (1576).
- Interestingly, these early boards were composed mainly of notaries & beaurocrats from outside the medical profession.
- The plague crisis of 1575–1578 had a major impact on public health and medical history.
- The first attempts were now being made, through detailed health-board statistics, to track the progress of diseases such as bubonic plague.
- Doctors also now understood the importance of engaging in politics & instructing princes & beaurocrats on public health.
- With the new more extensive health-board records, plague writers also looked at new forms of plague writing - now including personal trauma, pathos, dark comedy, and lessons into the narratives they spun.
- Plague death counts were now not the only important records that were kept.
- Some of the later masterpieces of plague literature can be traced to influences from this time, including Camus & Defoe.
- Clinical issues:
- Imposition of quarantine.
- Place sick in isolation hospitals.
- Compile lists of the dead.
- Order autopsies.
- Environmental issues:
- Clean the streets.
- Clear the waterways.
- Ban goods from entering or leaving an area.
- Legal issues:
- Medical inquests.
- Powers of punishment (which could be draconian).
- Development of wide reaching information networks.
Image Credit - by mod as hell (cc)
Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
Alchemipedia | Home | Index | AZ | Numbers | Years | Animals | Architecture | Art | Business | Fashion | Films | Food & Drink | Games | Health | History | Literature | Media | Music | People |Politics | Science | Sport | Technology | World |