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'Breathing a vein’ colored etching by James Gillray 1804. Bloodletting remained usual treatment until the beginning of the nineteenth century. 14 pilgrims and pilgrimages were additional objectives. Initially, hospices were a domus hospitalis, house of hospitality or hospital, especially for pilgrims and the poor. This was based on the decision of the Synod of Aachen in 816, which ordered the chapters and monasteries to care for sick and hungry pilgrims as well as the local poor people. Charity came to occupy a central position in the devotion of medieval people. In the words of Lindeboom, a medical historian, “It was God’s will to do works of charity for the salvation of one’s soul”. The hospices, founded by the chapters and monasteries for this purpose, were therefore also designated houses of God. The religious background of the hospices is also evident from their external appearance, like the famous Hôtel Dieu of Hospices de Beaune. In most cases a hospice provided a number of beds, whether or not in rooms, a Health care and medicine church or a chapel. The latter applied to the Saint Servaas hospice. Before 1600 there was no organised health care let alone Danger of infection and robberies made travel a risky medicine to speak of. The sick were cared for at home, and undertaking, and therefore hospices offered shelter and care to medical advice was provided by relatives and neighbours. Those sick and wounded pilgrims. From the eleventh century, the who could afford it had access to an extensive medical market Saint Servaas hospice also admitted employees of the chapter of quacks, herbalists and astrologists. The towns were who were ill and occasionally ‘sick people from the street’. It responsible for health care and for allowing various miracle was not until very much later, starting in 1639, that the hospice workers to perform at annual fairs. From 1400, the town employed its own surgeon to treat the sick. The combination of council of Maastricht appointed a town surgeon, who had to hospice for pilgrims and care for the sick lasted well into the provide medical care to the town’s poor free of charge. The second half of the eighteenth century. town surgeon was paid for these services by the town. Medicine was, however, rather powerless. It continued to rely on the works and prescriptions of Galenus, dating back to the second century AD. From the fifteenth century onwards, some barber-surgeons, combining their barber’s trade with their medical craft of minor procedures, like bloodletting and purging, were also allowed to ply their trade. Indeed health


Geneeskundeboek-Opmaak Binnenwerk-ENG.indd
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