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The Sick Child, Humanitarian Narratives and the Getting of Hospitals:  An Historical Research Brief 

Pamela Wood, RGON, BA, Med, Dip Tchg (Tert), Assistant ot Director (Research), Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand 

Reference: The Sick Child, Humanitarian Narratives and the Getting of Hospitals:  An Historical Research Brief Nursing Praxis in New Zealand 11(3), 50-54

Abstract  

The nineteenth and early twentieth century discourse on the need for a separate children’s pavilion at Dunedin Hospital, and for a fever hospital, constructed ‘the sick child’ as an image of suffering.  This research brief offers a preliminary consideration of the way in which this construction relates to Thomas Laqueur’s “humanitaium narrative” (1989).  It examines five texts to see how ‘the sick child” was used in a persuasive discourse to get hospitals.

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