Worth 10 Million Words: History of Medicine in Pictures

dn24903-1_1200Wellcome Images just made a group of 100,000 medical images available for public viewing. It’s got all sorts of stuff from all periods of medicine. Images like the insanity you see above.

The hairy monster in the middle represents a patient wracked by fever. To the left, a blue beast representing feverish, shivering ague ensnares his victim as he tries to warm his chills beside the fire. To the right, a doctor writes prescriptions to try to keep the monsters at bay.

The image is one among 100,000 depicting the history of medicine made freely available from today by Wellcome Images. Including works by such celebrated artists as Vincent van Gogh and Francisco Goya, they date back to a 3000-year-old Egyptian prescription on papyrus.

I looked through a couple of these, and just like I feared, there are lots that make you glad you live in the time of anesthesia and government ordered mercy killings.