1st Edition

Medicine and Charity Before the Welfare State

ISBN 9780415111362
Published June 3, 1994 by Routledge
270 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

What have been the roles of charities and the state in supporting medical provision? These are issues of major relevance, as the assumptions and practices of the welfare state are increasingly thrown into doubt. This title offers a broad perspective on the relationship between charity and medicine in Western Europe, up to the advent of welfare states in the 20th century. Through detailed case studies, the authors highlight significant differences between Britain, France, Italy and Germany, and offer a critical vocabulary for grasping the issues raised. This volume reflects recent developments relating to the role of charity in medicine, particularly the revival of interest in the place of voluntary provision in contemporary social policy. It emphasizes the changing balance of "care" and "cure" as the aim of medical charity, and shows how economic and political factors influenced the various forms of charity.


'The book successfully challenges artificial distinctions such as between modern medical treatment and traditional charitable help or private charity and public welfare assistance. It also aruges that charity is never simply a response to obvious social needs. Rather, the growth of charity has had much to do with the self-image and political priorities of donors as with the needs and wants of recipients.' – Contemporary Sociology

'This collection is recommended for its conceptual arguments about the integral and continuing role of charity in medicine but also for historical writing which confronts much of orthodox and contemporary interpretation. ... the theoretical arguments are sustained by the case studies used and the text provides stimulus to continue this style of research and writing.' – Social History Society Bulletin

' A fascinating examination of a complex and important topic with far-ranging implications for our own understanding of caring and curing today.' – Lancet

'This is a mine of information for all those interested in the development of our hospitals and nursing services including domiciliary nursing before the NHS. There are 13 essays in this collection, each written by an eminent historian. The chapters complement each other, being very well researched and fully indexed.' – Nursing Times