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    Syphilization and its discontents: experimental inoculation against Syphilis at the London Lock Hospital

    Hanley, Anne (2017) Syphilization and its discontents: experimental inoculation against Syphilis at the London Lock Hospital. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 91 (1), pp. 1-32. ISSN 0007-5140.

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    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.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Copyright © 2017 The Johns Hopkins University Press
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): syphilis, human experimentation, inoculation, disease immunity, medical ethics
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
    Depositing User: Anne Hanley
    Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2017 09:08
    Last Modified: 14 Jun 2021 18:31


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