UK history: how the medical establishment's bigotry condemend thousands of sick and dying folk


Senior Member
Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland

basically late 1800s, thousands of folk across the UK but especially Manchester were poisoned by beer tainted with arsenic
the medicla profession insisted that it was a "disease" basically because the vicitms were poor beer drinkers and thus morally bankrupt etc etc... (strong precusrors of Eugenics, and rampant elitism/racism by the medical profession who were all from reasonably well off families, moral attitudes that the victims "deserved it" etc )
Some of the parallels with us are interesting.

Mouse girl

Senior Member
That is interesting. Although, I don't think that attitude is an isolated one. People have always been cruel to those who are sick and have believed illness to be some sort of moral failure. Look at the popularity of new age ideas and best selling books like: The Secret. I have had docs be very respectful and totally believe that my illness is very real, not my fault and totally physical. But, the general public, oh vey! People love to tell me that it is somehow my fault that I got ill or haven't gotten better. It's just due to their own foolishness and fears of illness and mortality.


Senior Member
after being forced to delve into researching m.e. myself due to abusive NHS service, i have actually discovered many parallels with the ways in which m.e. is treated and other groups. for example if you are a woman you are more likely to be diagnosed as having a mental health issue which has its roots from the 'hysterical woman'.

if you are a new student the diagnosis will probably be stress. if you have just had a baby the diagnosis will probably be post natal depression. if you are old the diagnoses will probably be 'its because you are old'....

if you are concerned about your sick baby the diagnoses is probably 'anxious mother'.

i can not see any science in diagnosing in this way. we may go away with antibiotics or antidepressants without being informed of the side effects.

i share the 'new age' concerns also. if we do not get well from the alternative treatment it is because

* on some level we dont really want to get well
* its my bad karma
* its a past life issue
* i am ill to drain others of their energy

people have gone for a relaxing massage only to be told abruptly 'if you are not going to relax there is no point in me massaging you!'

*religious connotations too seem to reflect these equally negative views of the sick.