Smallpox Inoculation Case Study

1950 Words 8 Pages
The source I have selected is a handwritten outline for a lecture on the smallpox inoculation, an injection that releases a very minor for of the disease into the patient for trained immunity. The passage focuses on preparing the body before inoculation, especially in regards to humoralism and temporal changes. As the database only provided one image of the source, the source is approximately one-page long. Although short, the source delivers a very concise description of a case study of a young girl in England and focuses on the preparation of her body before inoculation (however, the patient’s parents revoked their decision for their child to receive the injection). It is possible that the following pages of the notes may have focused on …show more content…
The handwritten nature of these notes and the elaborate signature at the top of the page marked by Dr. Rutherford creates a true sense of authenticity and transports its audience into a 1751 smallpox inoculation case study. Rutherford’s notes serve two major purposes to provide insight into the medical history of Britain: (1) elaborating on the methods of teaching in medical schools in 1751 and (2) creating awareness of typical medical practices of mid eighteenth century Great Britain. Although the notes are presented as an outline for a lecture, the source also provides useful and dependable information on clinical medical practices in preparing bodies for …show more content…
As previously read sources discussed the influence of British medical practices on American sources, Rutherford’s lecture notes support these claims, especially though his description of the preparation of the body and his advocacy for the inoculation. One can also infer that Rutherford’s firm stance on the necessity of inoculation may have had a greater impact on the residents of Britain, who then transferred their stories to colonial America. Rutherford’s advanced and published medical literature may have made rounds in the medical marketplace, providing other clinicians, professors, and educated common people with core information about the smallpox inoculation and the preparation of the body. Students of Rutherford learned their practice from clinical training and case studies, as well as from the strong opinions of their professor. It is evident that British physicians like Rutherford in the mid eighteenth century sought after the success of the inoculation in their country and their country’s colonies. These strong British opinions and practices heavily influenced and, essentially, fathered the medical practices found in North America, especially in regards to the humoralism of preparing the body for the smallpox

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