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Concluding Remarks

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Chapter Summary

This concluding chapter discusses some of the common themes that have emerged in medicine and the law in the middle Ages. The distinction between theory and practice is significant: as Turner and Butler point out in their introduction, legal sources allow us to see "medicine in action" at a time when most healthcare workers were unlikely to be literate, let alone authoring medical treatises. Criminal justice historians are keen to explore the ways in which socially constructed ideas about women have affected their participation in all stages of the legal process, identifying rape and infanticide as particularly gendered forms of criminal behaviour. The importance of ordinary people in the practice of medicine dovetails with the role played by women in medicine. The comparative elements of the relationship between medicine and law are also in need of further study, both over time for a single location and across geographical regions.

Keywords: Butler; criminal justice; infanticide; law; medicine; middle Ages; Turner

10.1163/9789004269118_015
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