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Slave Doctors, Surgeons And Popular Healers

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Chapter Summary

From the time the slaves were purchased in Cartagena to the time they were sold in Lima and other parts of Peru, the slave traders tried to maximize their profits by minimizing mortality and restoring sick slaves to health. First, there were the licensed physicians, surgeons and others who had received some formal training and had passed the requisite examinations. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries Spain controlled the practice of medicine more than any other European country. Apart from the healing practices of licensed practitioners and popular healers, the Church played a significant role in caring for the sick, particularly though not solely through the establishment of hospices and hospitals. Manuel Bautista Pèrez like many other slave owners preferred private to hospitalized care because of the expense involved and the danger that slaves might contract diseases if placed in a hospital.

Keywords: Cartagena; Manuel Bautista Pèrez; popular healers; slave doctors; surgeons



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