La réinvention des maladies chroniques au XXè siècle
George Weisz, Prof. d'Histoire, Université Mc Gill
Lundi, Octobre 27, 2014 - 15:00 - 17:00
Local 4212 du Pavillon Jean-Coutu, Université de Montréal.
Le 27 octobre 2014 se tiendra la prochaine conférence du MÉOS à 15h intitulée «La réinvention des maladies chroniques au XXè siècle». Le prof. George Weisz y discutera les conclusions de son récent ouvrage: Chronic Disease in the Twentieth Century (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 2014).
La conférence sera suivie d'une discussion.
In this talk I will discuss my recent book Chronic Disease in the Twentieth Century (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 2014). Long and recurring illnesses have burdened sick people and their doctors since ancient times, but until recently the concept of "chronic disease" had limited significance. In this book I try to explain why the idea of chronic disease assumed critical importance in the twentieth century and how it acquired new meaning as one of the most serious problems facing national healthcare systems. In doing this I challenge the conventional wisdom that the concept of chronic disease emerged because medicine’s ability to cure infectious disease led to changing patterns of disease. Instead, I suggests, the concept was constructed and has evolved to serve a variety of political and social purposes. How and why the concept developed differently in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France are my central concerns. In the United States, anxiety about chronic disease spread early in the twentieth century and was transformed in the 1950s and 1960s into a national crisis that helped shape healthcare reform. In the United Kingdom, the concept emerged only after World War II, was associated almost exclusively with proper medical care for the elderly population, and became closely linked to the development of geriatrics as a specialty. In France, the problems of the elderly and infirm were handled as technical and administrative matters until the 1950s and 1960s, when medical treatment of elderly people emerged as a subset of their wider social marginality. While an international consensus now exists regarding a chronic disease crisis that demands better forms of disease management, the different paths taken by these countries during the twentieth century continue to exert profound influence.