A Ciência, a Clínica e Arte da Sífilis no Desterro (1897-1955)

A Ciência, a Clínica e Arte da Sífilis no Desterro (1897-1955)

In the context of the current politics of re-structuring the city health services, which include the building of a grand multi-service hospital and the dismantling of the ones that are hosted in the former convents and historical buildings of downtown Lisbon, the old "Hospital do Desterro" was closed in 2007. This was the hospital of reference for dermato-venereology since 1897, but its history and its contributions for Portuguese medicine are poorly known to the public and to the academic community. In this project we plan to work with the collections, documents and remains of the hospital of Desterro not only to make public its history and role in Portuguese medicine, but also to understand the relationship between scientific knowledge, medical teaching, clinical practices and social context as exemplified by syphilis in the first half of the twentieth century in Lisbon. We will pay special attention to the mandates of Thomaz de Mello Breyner (1897-1933) and Luís de Sá Penella (1933-1955) in the clinic of syphilis and venereology at Desterro. It is during those periods that one major diagnostic tool and two major clinical tools produce a dramatic impact in the knowledge and treatment of syphilis: the Wasserman test (1906), the introduction of Salvarsan (1910) and of Penicillin (1941). Those are also periods of social and political transitions that have an impact on the policies for syphilis, on the control over sexual commerce and on the representation of sexually transmitted diseases. \nThe project includes the following lines of research: - Assessment, classification and recommendations regarding the collections, documents and objects from Desterro, currently kept at the city hospital of Capuchos. Preliminary research showed that there are several bodies of documents: scientific literature, index cards and books with clinical data, proceedings from conferences, CVs of the clinical personnel, medical instruments, hospital paraphernalia, dermatological visual aids and a collection of wax models (moulages) with dermatological lesions mostly representing the material effects of syphilis. We will classify the objects and documents and will identify possible solutions to preserve them from deterioration and make them available to the public and the scientific community. We will dialogue with current tendencies in science museums and we will give special attention to the collection of moulages, which are unique elements of art-work at the service of teaching and research in dermatology and subject to a recent wave of interest (Schnalke 1995; Lanza et al 1997; Hopwood 2002; Riva et al 2007). - History of dermatovenereology in Portugal. Besides the formal history which is being carried by project consultant Dr. José Prates, from within the discipline and supported on official documents, annals, and memories of dermatologists, we will also develop an analytical component that will dialogue with historical literature on the making (e.g. Graça 2005) and will interpret the developments of Portuguese dermatology and syphilography within the context of international clinical and cognitive developments  - The context of syphilis and its treatment at Desterro. Preliminary research identified some log books of the outpatient clinic for the periods immediately before 1910, which marks at once the discovery of Salvarsan (the arsenical 606) and political transitions to republic. The data enables us to monitor the changes in choices of treatment and to outline a characterization of the population served by the outpatient clinic. We will explore a number of social variables, data regarding sexuality, contamination, violence, gender, class, vertical transmission and upwards transmission in foundling homes like Santa Casa da Misericordia, which echoes the case ana analysis of consultant D. Kertzer (1999). We shall look for further data regarding the hospital internments and the different wards; preliminary research showed that there was a foucauldian "prison-infirmary" (Madalenas) to incarcerate the infected prostitutes and separate them from the other women. - Case-studies of syphilis and social suffering in early twentieth century Lisbon. We will explore some case-studies by following some of the patients along their networks, families, residences and institutions, using other sources and crossing references, with the purpose of describing in a narrative the multiple components of their dramas. - Final analysis. We will contextualize the findings along two axes: the conventional history of science, and of medicine, and an exploratory venue along the lines of social studies of science - focused on the circulation and interactions of material objects, objects of knowledge and knowledge actors - including the producers, the users and the subject-objects of knowledge.

Project The science, clinic, and art of syphilis at Desterro (1897-1955) - HC/0071/2009 - Financed by FCT

Estatuto: 
Proponent entity
Financed: 
No
Entidades: 
Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Keywords: 

Medicine; Syphilis; Dermatology; Hospital

In the context of the current politics of re-structuring the city health services, which include the building of a grand multi-service hospital and the dismantling of the ones that are hosted in the former convents and historical buildings of downtown Lisbon, the old "Hospital do Desterro" was closed in 2007. This was the hospital of reference for dermato-venereology since 1897, but its history and its contributions for Portuguese medicine are poorly known to the public and to the academic community. In this project we plan to work with the collections, documents and remains of the hospital of Desterro not only to make public its history and role in Portuguese medicine, but also to understand the relationship between scientific knowledge, medical teaching, clinical practices and social context as exemplified by syphilis in the first half of the twentieth century in Lisbon. We will pay special attention to the mandates of Thomaz de Mello Breyner (1897-1933) and Luís de Sá Penella (1933-1955) in the clinic of syphilis and venereology at Desterro. It is during those periods that one major diagnostic tool and two major clinical tools produce a dramatic impact in the knowledge and treatment of syphilis: the Wasserman test (1906), the introduction of Salvarsan (1910) and of Penicillin (1941). Those are also periods of social and political transitions that have an impact on the policies for syphilis, on the control over sexual commerce and on the representation of sexually transmitted diseases. \nThe project includes the following lines of research: - Assessment, classification and recommendations regarding the collections, documents and objects from Desterro, currently kept at the city hospital of Capuchos. Preliminary research showed that there are several bodies of documents: scientific literature, index cards and books with clinical data, proceedings from conferences, CVs of the clinical personnel, medical instruments, hospital paraphernalia, dermatological visual aids and a collection of wax models (moulages) with dermatological lesions mostly representing the material effects of syphilis. We will classify the objects and documents and will identify possible solutions to preserve them from deterioration and make them available to the public and the scientific community. We will dialogue with current tendencies in science museums and we will give special attention to the collection of moulages, which are unique elements of art-work at the service of teaching and research in dermatology and subject to a recent wave of interest (Schnalke 1995; Lanza et al 1997; Hopwood 2002; Riva et al 2007). - History of dermatovenereology in Portugal. Besides the formal history which is being carried by project consultant Dr. José Prates, from within the discipline and supported on official documents, annals, and memories of dermatologists, we will also develop an analytical component that will dialogue with historical literature on the making (e.g. Graça 2005) and will interpret the developments of Portuguese dermatology and syphilography within the context of international clinical and cognitive developments  - The context of syphilis and its treatment at Desterro. Preliminary research identified some log books of the outpatient clinic for the periods immediately before 1910, which marks at once the discovery of Salvarsan (the arsenical 606) and political transitions to republic. The data enables us to monitor the changes in choices of treatment and to outline a characterization of the population served by the outpatient clinic. We will explore a number of social variables, data regarding sexuality, contamination, violence, gender, class, vertical transmission and upwards transmission in foundling homes like Santa Casa da Misericordia, which echoes the case ana analysis of consultant D. Kertzer (1999). We shall look for further data regarding the hospital internments and the different wards; preliminary research showed that there was a foucauldian "prison-infirmary" (Madalenas) to incarcerate the infected prostitutes and separate them from the other women. - Case-studies of syphilis and social suffering in early twentieth century Lisbon. We will explore some case-studies by following some of the patients along their networks, families, residences and institutions, using other sources and crossing references, with the purpose of describing in a narrative the multiple components of their dramas. - Final analysis. We will contextualize the findings along two axes: the conventional history of science, and of medicine, and an exploratory venue along the lines of social studies of science - focused on the circulation and interactions of material objects, objects of knowledge and knowledge actors - including the producers, the users and the subject-objects of knowledge.

Project The science, clinic, and art of syphilis at Desterro (1897-1955) - HC/0071/2009 - Financed by FCT

Objectivos: 
<p>.</p>
Parceria: 
Unintegrated
Joana Ribeiro
Luís Junior Costa Saraiva
Sandra Teresa Valadas Geraldo Tacão
Célia de Jesus Pina Pilão
António Manuel Perestrelo Correia de Matos
Coordenador 
Start Date: 
10/01/2010
End Date: 
10/01/2012
Duração: 
24 meses
Closed