A warning against quack doctors: the Old Bailey trial of Indian oculists, 1893

Mukherjee, S. (2013) A warning against quack doctors: the Old Bailey trial of Indian oculists, 1893. Historical Research, 86(231), pp. 76-91. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-2281.2011.00589.x)

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Abstract

The cataract operation is said to have been perfected by Susruta, the ‘Hippocrates of India’, some time around the sixth century B.C.E. However, at the end of the nineteenth century in Britain, India's reputation for expertise in ocular surgery was under threat and at the point of being discredited. At this time, a number of Indian oculists were working in Britain, outside the professional medical sector using itinerant methods and forms of advertising that were associated with ‘quacks’. The activities of four Indian eye-doctors came to the fore with a trial at the Old Bailey in 1893 for ‘fraud’. This article locates such Indian oculists within a tradition of ‘fringe medicine’ in Britain, and discusses, in particular, their methods of advertising and the proceedings of the aforementioned trial

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mukherjee, Dr Sumita
Authors: Mukherjee, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Historical Research
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0950-3471
ISSN (Online):1468-2281
Published Online:01 February 2012

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