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Medical Negligence in Victorian Britain: The Crisis of Care Under the English Poor Law, C1834-1900.


Medical Negligence in Victorian Britain: The Crisis of Care Under the English Poor Law, C1834-1900

Kim Price



253 pages




This study draws on archival material such as inquiries conducted by poor law inspectors in Britain during the period. The opening chapter overviews the history and legal inheritance of BritainEs New Poor Law, seeking to re-situate the place of the poor law within an accurate historical socio-legal context. Part one presents the history of the poor law medical services, challenging the assumption that charges of negligence against medical officers declined throughout the Victorian period. Part 2 focuses on welfare in the late 19th century. This section argues that the officials of the poor law, such as legal secretaries and inspectors, were opposed to the expansion of medical welfare. The author demonstrates how the crusade against medical neglect actually created an ideal environment for neglect to occur and for doctors to be charged with negligence.

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Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2015
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