The 18th century
A little Laugh and Anesthesia
Today's medicine and the 18th century's medicine has changed a lot from now to the 18th century. Hundred years ago alcohol was used as an anesthesia. Today, no doctor of good conscience would consider using alcohol because there are substances available which are much better and safer. It is well known that a dose of alcohol sufficient to render someone unconscious is toxic and could prove to be fatal. If side effects and potential dangers are of no concern, one could also say that a 2x4 is an effective anesthetic. This sort of ludicrous thinking persists today in the minds of those who clamor to legalize marijuana for "therapeutic' purposes."
The Discovery of Vaccines
Even though they were not as deadly than in the earlier century, bubonic plague, typhus, malaria & diphtheria still returned to take heavy tolls. But the one which still remained, the single most deadly killer in the period was smallpox. This disease is always endemic, frequently assumed epidemic in the small medieval towns where refuse and even human excrement filled up the tiny streets and dirty sewers. It was eve said that one-third of all the people in London bore pit marks of smallpox. Early in the century, Lady Mary Worthley Montagu brought back to England the Asian techniques of variation which she had seen in Turkey. This was done by pricking serum from the sore or a person with smallpox into another persons skin to make a resistance resulting in a small illness. After tow princes of royal blood had been successfully inoculated and the practice became rather popular for a small period of time. Soon enough the danger became apparent. Inoculation also lost favor in the American colonies and was outlawed by several state for a while.
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