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By Helen Dingwall

Together with advancements in drugs, surgical procedure, and replacement drugs on the subject of the altering monetary and social historical past, the writer deals a brand new synthesis of drugs and society in Scotland.

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A history of Scottish medicine: themes and influences

Together with advancements in drugs, surgical procedure, and substitute medication on the subject of the altering fiscal and social heritage, the writer bargains a brand new synthesis of medication and society in Scotland.

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These individuals often had no right to practise surgery but perhaps because of the regularity with which they tried the procedure, a patient may have had more chance of surviving than with a trained surgeon who had little or no previous 26 A HISTORY OF SCOTTISH MEDICINE experience. (Two millennia later this same dilemma faces the managers of orthodox medicine. One such example is the question of maintaining a medical or surgical specialty in a remote area, where the single consultant may not encounter a sufficient range of cases to enable him or her to maintain an adequate level of expertise.

By the latter decades of the eleventh century there was the beginning of the view in religious circles, or at least at the epicentre of religion, the papacy, that surgery at least was not an occupation which should be carried out by clerics at any level. Finally, or, more correctly, initially, the impetus towards secularisation came from the papal bull ecclesiae abhorret a sanguine issued in 1163. This edict declared that clerics should no longer let the blood of others in the cause of medical treatment.

CONCLUSION There is little doubt that the inhabitants of ancient Scotland handed down to their Pictish and medieval Scottish descendants a formidable array of medicinal remedies, many of which remained in use until very recently or, indeed, may be still in use, and not just in the remotest parts of the country. In terms of interacting spheres, medicine in early Scotland may be said to have operated within a single, general social sphere. A feature of Scottish medicine and, indeed, of Scotland as the book and time periods evolve, is that more and more complex spheres, with more and more complex interactions serve to characterise the nation, its peoples, its external relations and its medicine.

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