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Medical Practice in Early Colonial Spanish America: A Prospectus

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Artigo de revistaNewson, Linda A.  Medical Practice in Early Colonial Spanish America: A Prospectus . [Trad. La Práctica Medical al Principio de la Colonia Española en América: Un Prospecto] Bulletin of Latin American Research, 2006 vol. 25 no. 3 p. 367-391. palavras chaves:
América Latina
História |

Resumo:

This paper outlines the current state of research on medical practice in early colonial Spanish America. It argues that medical practice in Spain was more diverse than generally supposed, and that this complicated the exchange that occurred between Native American, African and European medical traditions in the Americas. Control of medical practice in Spanish America was exercised not through the establishment of state institutions, but through the close working of the state and the Church that on the one hand promoted medical care as a charitable activity and on the other sought to suppress practices that were incompatible with Catholic beliefs. However, due to the shortage of trained medical practitioners, the authorities were relatively tolerant of alternative medical practices and this enabled a process of exchange and fusion. The paper illustrates these processes with respect to medical practice in Cartagena de Indias in the early seventeenth century. It concludes with suggestions of avenues for future research.

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