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Stories of Disease Written by Patients and Lay Mediators in the Spanish Republic of Letters (1680-1720)

AuthorsPardo-Tomás, José ; Martínez-Vidal, Àlvar
KeywordsHistoria de la medicina
Relación médico-enfermo
Relatos de pacientes
Muñoz y Peralta, Juan
Issue DateSep-2008
CitationJournal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 38/3 : 2008
AbstractIt is not easy to fathom the network of decisions, negotiations, conflicts or alternatives that lies hidden behind the letters crossing between patients and their healers. Analyzing a group of letters sent to the court physician Juan Muñoz y Peralta (1665-1746) by his patients, the article intends to show how “pacients” are actually “actors” in the elaboration of medical knowledge and in the decision on therapeutic strategies. Our main aim is to focus attention on the voices of the patients themselves or those of other people who, like them, were not experts in medicine from the point of view of professional practice or formal training. Their expectations, experiences of pain or disease, and their concepts of health and illness should be taken into account when attempting a cultural history of early modern medicine.
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