Black history of medicine
José Alberto Palma
Ciudadela Books. Madrid, 2016
Text - Antonio Jiménez
Dr. Palma introduces us to the great myths and dark, gruesome and erroneous legends of past medicine, such as drowning to make mental illnesses disappear or the bloodletting, enemas and trepanations that carried away, for example, René Descartes or George Washington.
This long list of erroneous therapeutic practices formed the basic medical manual of the pre-modern physician. Today we consider them, if not a crime, at least great follies. Several of these practices even reached the middle of the 20th century. Others, less known, can surprise us in an unimaginable way, such as the "suspension cure" or the "cure with magnets".
Historia negra de la medicina is, without a doubt, a surprising book in each of its pages, firstly because of the easy comprehension of what the author exposes; secondly because of the interest it awakens due to the concrete and real examples; and thirdly because of its mixture of divulgation and investigation. A work that should not be missing in the libraries of any person who is curious and eager to learn about history from the point of view of medicine and health.