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By Catherine Cox

[ Cultures of Care in Irish clinical historical past, 1750-1970 Cox, Catherine ( writer ) ] { Hardcover } 2011

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Extra resources for Cultures of Care in Irish Medical History, 1750–1970

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181–2; The Irish Court Register for 1797, pp. 277–9. Freeman’s Journal, 12 January 1790, 18 August 1791, 16 August 1792; Hibernian Journal, 19 February 1790, 19 August 1791. Hibernian Journal, 16 February 1790; Freeman’s Journal, 13 January 1774. The Medical Register for … 1779, pp. 178–85; The Irish Court Register for 1797, pp. 270–9. Loudon, ‘Provincial medical practice’, pp. 9–10; William Fitzwilliam to Lord Fitzwilliam, 15 December 1757, 31 March 1761 (NAI, Pembroke Estate papers, 97/46/1/2/7/134).

7 However, in very many instances, Irish general practitioners found that in practice, medico-legal work for coroners was fraught with difficulty, poorly remunerated, and attended by a whole raft of personal, professional and even political conflicts and controversies. This chapter will examine some of the reasons why medicolegal work for coroners was such an important issue for the Irish medical profession during the nineteenth century and why it nonetheless proved such a thankless and unrewarding task for so many practitioners.

Yet at the same time, and notwithstanding Dease’s remarks, the opportunity to attend and give evidence at an inquest was one which many general practitioners simply could not afford to decline, for basic reasons of livelihood. It is hardly surprising, then, that advice to practitioners on how to conduct themselves when giving evidence at coroners’ inquests should have featured prominently in the teaching of medical jurisprudence, or that medical reformers should have tried so hard to reform the coronership and improve the conditions and remuneration for ordinary practitioners attending and giving evidence at inquests.

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