The Sick Child, Humanitarian Narratives and the Getting of Hospitals: An Historical Research Brief
Pamela Wood, RGON, BA, Med, Dip Tchg (Tert), Assistant of Director (Research), Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand
Reference: Wood, P. (1996) The Sick Child, Humanitarian Narratives and the Getting of Hospitals: An Historical Research Brief. Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, 11(3), 50-54.
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 “humanitarian narrative” (1989). It examines five texts to see how ‘the sick child” was used in a persuasive discourse to get hospitals.