Summaries 2014/1

30.06.2015 | 11.12.2021

M. J. Turos

Ignorantio -ignorance in the sense of legal and canonical as a substantive dimension of medical error with a particular focus on anesthesiology.

The text is an attempt to look at the issue of medical error through the prism of legal and canonical tradition and force him deadlines.

Magdalena Syguda

Advices for pregnant women on the basis of „Poradnik dla młodych matek” by Teodor Matecki.

Guidebooks describing the specific problems connected with pregnancy, childbirth, postnatal period and upbringing of children were immensely popular in XIX century. The perfect example of such work in Polish literature is „Poradnik dla młodych matek” by dr Teodor Matecki (1810 – 1886). The author, in clear and concise way, passes on guides and rules regarding health protection of mother-to-be as well as her unborn child. The book contains essential advices for mothers concerning their diet and clothing which may have an influence on development of fetus. What is more Matecki delves into topics of faith and superstitions as well as intellectual development of women in pregnancy. Besides that there can be found information regarding their sleep, work and personal hygiene. It is underlined many times by the author that pregnancy is not an illness and it should not be treated as such. Matecki prohibits any treatments that may endanger woman or her child and points out a few useful advices aimed at bringing her some relief.


Warmuzińska Joanna

Spas in Druskienikiach to 1939

From among a range of measures and various treatment methods commonly used, natural resources treatment, especially in the interwar years, was becoming more and more popular. It resulted from making national health resorts available to all social classes by granting considerable discounts both for accommodation as well as medical treatments. Especially important role in promoting the Polish health resorts played the physicians and thanks to their work, in the scientific and experimental scope in particular, they acquired their own specializations.

Druskieniki, as the only health resort in the north-east region at the time of the Second Polish Republic, was quickly rebuilt and properly equipped despite significant losses after the war. Salt springs, known and used since 1830, peat and needles as well as its values as regards the terrain and the climate put it on an equal footing with other national health resorts. However, the real boom in its development happened in the 1930s. At that time a scientific center was established in this health resort out of the initiative of prof. A. Januszkiewicz, who was the head of the Internal Ward of the Stefan Batory University in Vilnius at that time. The purpose of his activity as regards health resorts was the research conducted by the physicians at the said University concerning the influence of natural resources of Druskieniki on the bodies of health resort visitors, taking into account the physicochemical properties of these resources.


Sylwia Kuźma Markowska

A pestilence at the gates of the New York City: the reaction of the American public opinion to the epidemic of typhus in post-World War I Poland

The article presents and analyzes the reaction of American daily newspapers to the epidemic of typhus in Poland after World War I. In the years 1919-1922 American press delved into the issue of the “pestilence” in Eastern Europe, focusing on its unprecedented scope, unsanitary conditions that supposedly caused the epidemic, inability of Polish authorities to fight against the diseases, and the correlation between the plague and the war against Soviet Russia. The greatest concern for the American public opinion was however the threat that the typhus might be brought to the United States by immigrants coming from Eastern Europe, Poland in particular. The immigration station Ellis Island and the nearby New York City were, according to the press articles, in the most imminent danger of epidemic. American newspapers, especially the dailies published in the New York City, diligently reported anti-epidemic and anti-immigration decisions and activities undertaken by local authorities. All in all, the press inflated the issue of typhus and sustained a close association between the disease and Eastern European Polish and Jewish immigrants.


Felchner Andrzej

Tasks and Activity of a County Doctor in the Second Polish Republic on the Example of Piotrków County.

Between World War I and World War II there were numerous negative phenomena in Polish society as far as health and illnesses are concerned. The issues were depicted in detail on the example of Piotrków county. The author emphasized the living conditions, bad hygiene and also lack of awareness and knowledge among the city dwellers concerning this area of life. Basic sanitary norms were ignored in shopping areas, in places where food was produced and even at schools, especially in the country. The roles and activities of county doctors   were depicted in this sphere. They followed mostly sanitary conditions of Piotrków district. As representatives of public health care offices they undertook numerous activities in order to improve the situation. They frequently controlled, supported the activity of surgeries and tried to rebuild them. They advised local authorities as far as health matters were concerned. Although their activities were not always accepted by the society the work done by doctors must be emphasized. The office does not exist anymore but at that time it was significant and helped to improve the situation.


Andrzej Wypustek

Chamber pots and Sponges, Toilets and Latrines: Personal Hygiene in the Greek-Roman World

This paper addresses a wide variety of questions regarding Greek and Roman practices associated with personal hygiene. The focus is on urination and defecation habits in antiquity. Some of the issues discussed include also personal cleanliness, the use made of cesspits, drainage and sewage disposal and sanitation. Subsequent investigation shows a variety of accessories for cleanliness, that is ancient equivalents of toilet paper, used throughout antiquity. The development of domestic toilet facilities and public, communal latrines is also broadly presented, with the reference to socialization taking place in the large, splendid Prachtlatrinen in the Roman Empire. The final section of the paper discusses the notion of toilet privacy and the impact of social distinctions on personal hygiene in Greece and Rome.


Beata Wojciechowska


The care for pregnant and birth-giving women, as well as for the infant, has always been an integral part of human existence. The medieval medical knowledge was primarily based on the works of Hippocrates, Galen, Avicenna and Soranus. Treaties, comments and notes were written based on the views of the ancient authors regarding the conception, pregnancy and delivery. The anticipation of a baby was very often associated with the desire for a son as a male descendant was the guarantor of prestige, continuator of the line, inheritor to the property and a helper at work. The anonymous medical note included in the BJ 796 code from the late fourteenth century provided a number of tips regarding the conception of a boy and a diagnosis of the gender of the conceived baby. In contrast, the anonymous author of the guidelines for pregnant women from 1425 (manuscript BJ 778) gave specific nutritional advice and information on the different stages of childbirth and possible complications. Such tips as well as detailed guidelines for the procedure during delivery were included in the sixteenth-century herbals. It was practical knowledge based on medicinal substances of plant and animal origin available and popular in the Polish lands.


Hombek Danuta

The beginnings of the medical press in Poland

This article discusses the initial ediotorial achievements of Polish press in the realm of medicine registered in pre-partition Rzeczypospolita of mid18th century. Although the first of them know as „Primitiae Physico-Medicae” has its own bibliography, its content was successfully supplemented with certain facts concerning the editorial and formal side of the magazine. However, the remaining two achievements of 18th century-editors are hardly mentioned even in the specialist medical literature, let alone other general studies in the history of science. It appears though that both schemes, the one being only partially covered and the other not exceeding the project, deserve equal attention. The former scheme dating back to 1792 and coming from Grodno, whose editor was to be „the Doctor of Physic and Surgerye” yet unfamiliar de Neyen, fell through despite being addressed to a wide circle of recipients and disregarding its well-announced attractive subscription offer.

The final 18th-century attempt to bring the medical paper into existence was made by those of Warsaw environment. And in 1795 the one from beyond the medical circle, the printer and editor Tadeusz Poldlecki, only partially realised yet another medical enterprise. This was just the case when the editor announced subscription to the popular weekly periodical entitled „Medical Practice” („Praktyka Lekarska”) and repeatedly advertised it in the newspaper entitled „Warsaw and Foreign Correspondent” („Korespondent Warszawski i Zagraniczny”). But that advertising was of little benefit since the publication of the magazine finally came to an end as following the edition of its only and half-abridged first volume.

The discussed medical papers that were first recorded in Poland did not receive wide recognition of the readers of the time, being still insufficiently prepared to enjoy professional medical writings.


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