Originally published in 1992, Medical Theory, Surgical Practice examines medical and surgical concepts of disease and their relation to the practice of surgery, in particular historical settings. It emphasises that understanding concepts of disease does not just include recounting explicit accounts of disease given by medical men. It needs an analysis of the social relations embedded in such concepts. In doing this, the contributors illustrate how surgery rose from a relatively humble place in seventeenth century life to being seen as one of the great achievements of late Victorian culture. They examine how medical theory and surgical practices relate to social contexts, how physical diagnosis entered medicine and whether anaesthesia and Lister's antiseptic techniques really did cause a revolution in surgical practice.
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