In the smaller towns in France there was the same hospital movement as characterized the situation in Germany. In the south, the closeness of Montpelier made the example of the hospital of the Holy Ghost of that city especially forceful. In other portions of France it is well known that the Sisters of the Holy Ghost very early established separate hospitals from those founded by the Brothers of the Holy Ghost. There are records of such separate hospitals entirely under the control of Sisters in Bar-Sur-Aube, in Neuf-Chateau, and, according to Virchow, at many other places. At the same time, however, there still continued to be hospitals of the Holy Ghost as at Besancon, where the Brothers and Sisters of the Holy Ghost had their institutions in common, though there was a distinct separation of the communities and allotment of tasks. The Brothers cared rather for the surgical cases, while the care of the children and the pregnant women was confided to the Sisters. This of itself was rather an advantage, since the separation of the women and the children from the ordinary hospital patients, must have proved an important preventive of infection and an ameliorating factor as regards that hospital atmosphere especially likely to be unfavorable to these delicate, sensitive cases. We know now what hospitalism means for them.

That the influence of the movement initiated by Innocent III. was felt even in distant England is very clear, from the fact that practically all of the famous old {255} British hospitals date their existence as institutions for the care of the ailing from the thirteenth century. The famous St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London had been a priory founded at the beginning of the twelfth century, which took care of the poor and the destitute sick, but at the beginning of the thirteenth century it became, in imitation of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit at Rome, frankly a hospital in the modern sense of the word. St. Thomas’s Hospital, which continues to be down to the present time one of the great medical institutions of London, was founded by Richard, Prior of Bermondsey, in 1213. Bethlehem, or as the name was softened in the English speech of the people, Bedlam, was founded about the middle of the thirteenth century. Originally it was a general hospital for the care of the sick of all kinds, though in later times it became, as its name has come to signify in modern English, a place exclusively for the care of the insane. Bedlam, in the fourteenth century, and probably also in the later years of the thirteenth, made provision for a certain number of the insane in addition to other patients, so that it presented the accomplishment of that desideratum for which we are striving in the twentieth century–a city general hospital with psychopathic wards. This arrangement, as we have said in the chapter on the Church and the Mentally Afflicted, has many advantages over the special hospital for the insane, entrance to which, as a rule, requires tedious formalities.

James J. Walsh, The Popes and Science (1908)


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