Redeeming Mr. Sawbone: compassion and care in the cultures of nineteenth-century surgery

Brown, Michael (2017) Redeeming Mr. Sawbone: compassion and care in the cultures of nineteenth-century surgery. Journal of Compassionate Health Care, 4.

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Abstract

Objective To complicate understandings of the emotions involved in the surgical encounter. Methods I draw on an extensive body of historical material to demonstrate the importance of compassion and sympathy to the professional identities and experiences of early nineteenth-century British surgeons and use this information to reflect on what lessons can be learned for contemporary practice. Results This research demonstrates that compassion and sympathy for the patient were a vital part of surgery in the decades immediately preceding the introduction of anaesthesia in the 1840s and that they played a vital role in shaping the professional identity of the surgeon. Conclusion This research suggests that we might develop more complex and inclusive ways of thinking about the doctor-patient relationship in surgery and that we can draw on the experiences of the past to ensure that we take compassion seriously as a vital element of the intersubjective clinical encounter.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Compassionate Health Care
Subjects:
ID Code:
175322
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
07 Sep 2022 10:25
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
07 Sep 2022 10:25