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Leprosy in the Middle Ages - Essay Example

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LEPROSY IN THE MIDDLE AGES (Name) (Institution) Hansen’s disease, or as it is commonly referred to as leprosy, is among the most deforming and disabling diseases. Leprosy or Hansen’s disease is a bacterial infection, which involves the nerves, skin as well as other tissues…
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Leprosy in the Middle Ages
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Download file to see previous pages If unchecked, it can result to loss of neural consciousness, blindness as well as local paralysis. Leprosy represented a major moral, social as well as health concern in the middle Ages. Few ailments have conjured the social reactions, which leprosy did in the middle Ages. Some primordial communities undertook exclusionary actions to isolate socially persons with the ailment. Other communities, whereas acknowledging the ailment, treated persons similar to normal citizens as well with compassion. This paper will discuss leprosy in the middle ages. Experts consent that Hansen’s disease was a familiar ailment in mediaeval Europe although opinions range as to its pervasiveness in the period. Writers have proposed that the ailment might have reached its peak in the 20th and 30th eras.4 They grounded this assumption upon the discovery that the total number of hospices started to care for persons with the ailment were many in the 20th and 30th centuries. For instance, in the middle of 20th era, France had around two thousand leprosariums whereas Scotland and England had about two hundred and twenty to cater for around 1.5 m persons with leprosy. Nevertheless, some of these hospices never served persons with the ailment as well as the dread of the ailment might have resulted to over-exaggeration of its pervasiveness.3 Stereotypically, the medieval societies saw persons with the ailment as untrustworthy, unclean, wrathful, suspicious and hopeless. To the primordial citizen, Hansen’s disease meant a lengthy, disfiguring, as well as inevitable demise. Given the alleged fears of the ailment, primordial citizens evaded people with the ailment.5 Primordial citizens were apprehensive that they might contact Hansen’s disease from associating with persons with the illness and officials habitually made provisions within primordial law, for instance, prohibitions concerning ownership of property. For instance, primordial French communities regularly denied ownership rights to persons with leprosy. Other communities approved laws to limit the personal free will of persons with leprosy, for instance, the 1276 inquests of London that stated that persons with Hansen’s disease could not reside within the city.6 Primordial communities established other restraints. For example, some individuals believed the Hansen’s disease could be contracted via the breath; therefore, persons with the ailment were only allowed to communicate only they were on down wind.1 Certain communities banned them from utilizing well-travelled roads, enter taverns, market, and even churches with no permission. Medieval communities also banned them from doing laundry within local streams, utilizing public drinking mugs, and touching babies. Restraints varied amid communities, for instance, certain Scottish communities hung or took them out of the village, whereas others allowed them to move around freely. Rendering to Kealey (1981), during 12th century England, persons with the Hansen’s disease were not detested or removed from community, and leper bells and clappers were not used. One of the utmost dramatic social restraints upon persons with the Hansen’s disease was their isolation from mainstream community that was carried out for at least 8 centuries. Primordial citizens believed they might contract leprosy via association.1 Therefore, communities guaranteed that avoids were upheld amid those with and without the ailment. For ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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