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Medical humanitarianism and smallpox inoculation in eighteenth-century Guatemala

Medizinischer Humanitarismus und Pockenimpfung in Guatemala des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts
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Few, Martha

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Abstract "This article analyzes the introduction of smallpox inoculation in 1780 to the Audiencia of Guatemala, an area that roughly encompassed what is today modern Central America and the Mexican state of Chiapas. This first inoculation campaign was led by a modernizing sector of Guatemala's colonial elite, who considered it their moral responsibility to apply the new medical innovations of the era to cure and prevent disease among Guatemala's inhabitants, including the majority indigenous Maya population. Guatemala's first smallpox inoculation campaign provides an important case study for analyzing how discourses of health and moral responsibility towards Indians and other colonized peoples changed during the enlightenment once an effective preventive therapy against smallpox began to be employed." (author's abstract)
Keywords Guatemala; eighteenth century; medicine; vaccination; American Indian; indigenous peoples; humanism; humanitarian aid; health care delivery system; public health care delivery system; colonialism; Central America; religion; epidemic; campaign; historical analysis; developing country; Latin America
Classification General History; Medical Sociology
Method empirical; qualitative empirical; historical
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 303-317
Journal Historical Social Research, 37 (2012) 3
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works