Patients beyond the pale: A historical view

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The appearance of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome in the 1980s represents one of the greatest ironies in the history of medicine. In ancient Greece, the cardinal sin was to be hopelessly ill from any malady. Greeks revered the healthy and strong; they had little compassion for the lame, infirm, or terminally ill. The highest social good was health; the greatest curse was illness. The origin of syphilis in Europe is obscure; all that is known for certain is that it appeared in epidemic form for the first time in 1493. Daniel M. Fox brought sense to the history of physician responsibility. He noted two constants: first, that a process of negotiation occurred between civic leaders and the medical community regarding who would treat the victims; and, second, that the epidemics provided doctors with opportunities as well as risks. Behavioral changes are needed, but these must be focused on helping individuals avoid contact with a pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic and Professional Attitudes Toward Aids Patients
Subtitle of host publicationA National Dilemma
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781000236651
ISBN (Print)9780367284633
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Patients beyond the pale: A historical view'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this