‘Family-centred care’ in American hospitals in late-Qing China

Michelle Renshaw

ABSTRACT Today, patients’ families in the West are regaining the access to hospitals that they lost when hospitals emerged as the primary site for medical treatment, research and training at the beginning of the twentieth century. In China, however, families were never excluded from American mission-run hospitals, in fact, they were indispensable. Families were in the waiting rooms, consulting rooms,wards and operating theatres. They provided more than reassurance and comfort: they fed and nursed their sick relatives, acted as advocates and middlemen and may even have lowered the incidence of cross-infection, the scourge of the contemporary hospital in the West.

in Permeable Walls : Historical Perspectives on Hospital and Asylum Visiting.

Mooney, Graham and Jonathan Reinarz (Eds)
Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2009, VI, 352 pp.Clio medica (Amsterdam, Netherlands)  86:55-79.

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