The epidemic of yellow fever that struck Philadelphia in 1793 prompted the preeminent physician in the city, Benjamin Rush, to respond with a mode of treatment focused on rapid depletion through purgation and copious bloodletting. His method provided a model for American practice during the "heroic" age that followed. Nevertheless, it struck many contemporaries as a radical departure from standard therapeutics. How radical was it in fact? The aim of this seminar will be to explore Rush's therapy in terms of contemporary theory and practice.
This seminar will be presented by Paul Kopperman of Oregon State University. Prof. Kopperman is spending much of his sabbatical year in the Philadelphia area doing research on medicine in Britain and North America in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He currently holds fellowships from the College of Physicians, the David Library of the American Revolution, and the Oregon Satte University Center for the HUmanities.
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