New PDF release: Down's Syndrome: The History of a Disability

By David Wright

ISBN-10: 019956793X

ISBN-13: 9780199567935

For a hundred and fifty years, Down Syndrome has constituted the archetypal psychological incapacity, simply recognisable by means of exact facial anomalies and actual stigmata. In a slender scientific experience, Down Syndrome is a typical sickness because of the presence of all or a part of an additional twenty first chromosome. it truly is named after John Langdon Down, the British asylum scientific superintendent who defined the syndrome as 'Mongolism' in a sequence of lectures in 1866. In 1959, the affliction used to be pointed out as a chromosome 21 trisomy via the French paediatrician and geneticist J�r�me Lejeune and has given that been often called Down Syndrome (in the English-speaking international) or Trisomy 21 (in many ecu countries). yet teenagers and adults born with this chromosomal abnormality have a massive collective background past their obvious value to the heritage of clinical science.

David Wright, a Professor within the historical past of medication at McMaster college, seems on the care and remedy of people with Down Syndrome - defined for far of historical past as 'idiots', - from Medieval Europe to the current day. the invention of the genetic foundation of the situation and the profound alterations in attitudes, care, and early id of Down Syndrome in the genetic period, displays the interesting scientific and social background of the sickness.

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Extra resources for Down's Syndrome: The History of a Disability

Sample text

The lips are large and thick, with transverse fissures. The tongue is long, thick, and is much roughened. 3 Knowing full well that these patients were offspring of British parents, Down suggested tentatively that a possible explanation for these common attributes was atavism, the spontaneous reversion of individuals to more primitive races of humans. Down postulated that certain pathological processes could break down the racial barrier so as to ‘simulate . . features of the members of another [race]’.

Locke argued that citizens had an obligation to rise up against any government that abused the protections of life, liberty, and property, the basis on which government was formed in the first place. Individuals came together consenting to give up a certain amount of personal power, in order to pursue peace and justice—a theory now known as the Social Contract. In return, constraints needed to be imposed on government, such as multiple, balanced branches of government and the separation of church and state.

For example, during the year 1660–1, Dorothy Bailey was contracted by the St Sepulchres, Holborn parish Overseers in London ‘to attend Anne Gibbs in her sicknesse, Anne Tweedle an Ideot and Elizabeth Kesterson a blind woman five weekes’ concurrently. 12 What the Poor Law records don’t chronicle, of course, was the degree to which impoverished idiot children were abandoned or roamed the countryside or streets of early-modern Europe. Although the ‘village idiot’ has descended down the centuries as a common literary point of reference, this stereotype—one which suggests the freedom of the mentally disabled to wander about in public—appears hard to sustain with so little historical evidence.

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Down's Syndrome: The History of a Disability by David Wright

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