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The experience of looking at The Sick Rose, which is a good-curated print presentation of pictures that are freely available on the Wellcome Images site, raises questions about medical pictures that are historical, and when and in what media it's appropriate to view them. It's one thing to take a beautifully bound book apart into a silent armchair and have a one on one encounter with all the face of a baby wizened by tertiary syphilis, or with a dignified man with a bulbous, untreated pendant tumor. It is another to see the exact same faces flit by on Pinterest, Tumblr, or Twitter, in a jumble of other unrelated pictures and detached from the context of Barnett -supplying scholarship.
The Sick Rose is organized by afflictions, most of which are now rare in the Western world: cholera, gout, tuberculosis, advanced phases of syphilis. Online, the patients' suffering runs the danger of being seen as classic"---nearly comical in its horrible extremity and its distance from our own time. In a blog post about the method of assembling and later promoting The Sick Rose, Barnett acknowledged to a sense of unease" about sending the images away into the whole world, worrying regarding the kitsch, knowing, and emptily ironized approach" that could greet the pictures. (When Wired ran a slideshow of photographs from Sick Rose in May, for example, it was headlined Awesomely Gross Medical Illustrations From the 19th Century") Over Skype, Barnett told me: These are all images of something that happened to someone somewhere. They're not envisioned."
As historical medical images go archivists, scholars and digital are being forced to weigh the benefits of disseminating the fascinating and definitely significant record of the progression of medical practice with matters the pictures will soon be misused and misunderstood. Making the images accessible will probably lead to some tone deaf uses, lacking empathy and respect at best---using the shock value of a disfigured face or body at On the flip side, digitization of the kinds of images that were once accessible only to researchers with the means to travel to archives can do plenty of good. Such visibility can raise awareness about previous wrongs, ease connections between historians and the families of former patients , even supply us with a fresh method to think of our own mortality. (Because there are excellent arguments on either side, and because these medical images could be upsetting to some readers, we have chosen to place the photographs we're printing with this post behind an electronic scrim, which allows you, the reader, to decide whether to view them.)
Here's one instance that shows how far such digitized photographs can steal away from their contexts. Art historian Suzannah Biernoff has written about the fate of a group of patient images from the Gillies Archives These are the World War I-era records of Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, in the U.K., where plastic surgeon Harold Gillies headed a special unit treating injuries that required maxillofacial surgery. Gillies commissioned artists and photographers to record his patients' presurgical injuries, using the pictures to plan his team's strategy.
These photos ended up on the Web as part of a mid-2000s exhibit titled Project Faade (now archived through the Wayback Machine ). The project, which was funded by the Wellcome Trust's SciArt Production Award, was a collaboration among artist Paddy Hartley; Dr. Andrew Bamji, a rheumatologist who acts as curator of the Gillies Archives; and Dr. Ian Thompson, a surgeon and designer of facial implants. The graphics that Hartley made with inspiration from these archives afterwards formed the foundation of an exhibit at London's National Army Museum. The job, Hartley writes on his website , was meant to explore the impact of veterans' wartime injuries and subsequent facial surgeries on their lives.
But the digital images had another life following the exhibition had closed. Some pictures from the Project Faade archive ended up used in the design of the genetic mutants (splicers") that players of the videogame BioShock must battle. Henry Lumley, one of the patients in the pictures, a pilot trainee, lived with his harm for a year and was injured on the day of his graduation from flying school before being admitted to Gillies' care. Lumley died at age 26, of postoperative complications. (Here's his page on the Project Faade website And here's a picture of the BioShock character in question) Lumley and his fellow patients are now compelled to wander about in virtual space, made into monsters for the entertainment of gamers.
Std test in Chignik Lagoon. Does this issue, given that many (most?) BioShock players WOn't ever understand who these guys were in real life? Biernoff writes that British culture during the World War I perceived death in battle as glorious, but facial mutilation was seen as virtually black---a fate worse than death"---and pictures of soldiers injured in this manner were censored, lest they decrease morale. So even if gamers never understand the characters they are seeing on screen were once real guys, it can nevertheless feel when they are trotted out as digitized monsters like these guys, ostracized in life, are being wronged again. Chignik Lagoon, AK United States std test. As Wellcome Library archivist Natalie Walters pointed out in a post on the connection between BioShock and also the Gillies Archive: That nearly 100 years later similar images are used to frighten folks in a computer game, gives us a glimpse into what life should have been like for people who endured such disfiguring injuries." (She includes: How brave these men were to permit themselves to be photographed with extensive injuries, and to experience treatments that frequently made them look worse before they looked better.")
Std test in Chignik Lagoon. Dr. Andrew Bamji, the Gillies Archives' curator, told me over e-mail that he approached the game's programmers after finding out about this use and succeeded in contacting one. I pointed out that the use of identifiable men in the context of the game was an appalling way to heal the memory of veterans," Bamji wrote. He apologized and assured me that no further such pictures would be utilized, and there the matter finished." Bamji drew a clear distinction between using such pictures in a project like BioShock, where they were disassociated from the names and narratives of the patients, and Hartley's Project Faade. Std test nearby Alaska. I don't have any issue with all the display of pictures in a historic context, as without this folks do not understand what war can do."
Should we restrict access to upsetting digital images to people who we can be certain will perceive them in proper context? Michael Sappol , a historian at the U.S. National Library of Medicine who has written about historical and modern medical display, has an argument to the contrary. The NLM's digital groups have recently posted a series of hushed medical movies from between 1929 and 1945 , a few of which represent what Sappol calls difficult issues": leprosy, electroshock, schizophrenia. Sappol mentions, in particular, this 1929 movie made at Cook County Hospital in Chicago , which shows four kids that are dying of rabies. Fight, the patients convulse, bleed from the mouth; they're inconsolable, even as offer them water or gloved adult hands reach from off screen to hold them.
Sappol does not think it should be the occupation of the librarian or archivist to decide that the public can not handle looking at pictures that are such. We're stewards of these historical materials," he told me. They don't belong to us. They belong to everybody. ... I would not like to play on behalf of the areas and arrogate to myself the job of being some sort of cop of 'who can view.' " With the NLM's electroshock therapy films from the 1930s, Sappol says, A Number of the men and women in this movie ... appear like they definitely don't consent to the procedure, plus it is upsetting to see. I could say 'This individual doesn't need to be on camera, they're being humiliated.' But this is from. If we never get to see this, who gets to know?" The curiosity we feel about such images, he claims, is not shameful, but simply human.
The issue is further complicated by the fact that visibility is preferred by some subjects. This is actually the case with the Thalidomide Trust archive, which includes medical case files on folks produced withsevere birth defects after their mothers took the drug thalidomide to alleviate symptoms of morning sickness in the late 1950s-early-1960s," Wellcome archivist Helen Wakely wrote to me. The viewpoints of thalidomiders themselves on what should happen with their case files vary widely, but some definitely need their files and images made accessible for research as a purposeful action to open up disagreement."Of course, there is no method to ask the patients whose bodies appear in The Sick Rose whether they would prefer to be seen or stay hidden. Nevertheless, the modern example of thalidomide reveals that we should not presume that publication is tantamount to breach.
Nor should we presume that the Web is a serious medium than the bound-and- printed book. Historian Miriam Posner, who wrote her dissertation on medical filmmaking, is also a digital historian dedicated to making her sources freely accessible. Chignik Lagoon AK Std Test. In 2010, Posner posted about the ethical quandary she faced when requested to collaborate on a slideshow of photos that were lobotomy with a producer at NPR's show Science Friday. Neurologist Walter Freeman, who carried out more than 3,500 of the processes, photographed and patients his filmed before and after their surgeries.
But Posner ultimately went ahead with the Science Friday slideshow, reasoning that by simply asking viewers to take a second look at the before" images of patients, which Freeman presented for his own motives as broken," she may manage to show that these faces contain more possibilities than Freeman ever saw." A commenter on Posner's post wrote that he had recently discovered that his grandpa, lobotomized and who he'd never met, had been institutionalized in West Virginia. The commenter wrote: I haven't seen a picture of my grandfather, never, ever, and I really don't care if it's a graphic of him having this done I desire and just want to see a picture of him so MUCH. Can you tell me the way to get to these archives?" If Posner had not gone with Science Friday, it might have been considerably more challenging for the commenter to locate her; the connection might not have been made. Std Test near me Chignik Lagoon.
Eventually, there's a religious argument for making such pictures accessible. AK United States Std Test. Even if medical pictures may be abused, Michael Sappol says, I really don't want that possibility to prevent these things that are actually amazing records of the human experience from being seen. ... We can learn from them, they can redeem us in some way. They could supply us with some form of program of human suffering. ... Looking at them makes life richer and deeper." Barnett, despite his misgivings, agrees on this particular point: There's a power behind these pictures, there's a power they have over us, and we've got to acknowledge or honor this at some point." He compares the images to a laic vanitas ," referring to the 17th century Dutch paintings of skulls and other symbols of decay that were meant to remind the viewer of human mortality. For modern viewers, Barnett says, pictures like those in the Sick Rose might remind us: This is the body, along with the conclusion that we all come to."
Still, a vanitas needs space for contemplation---a space the Web appears ill prepared to offer. Susan Sontag's final book, Regarding the Pain of Others (2003), was composed as the Web was in the procedure for scattering photos to the four winds. Sontag wrote that pictures of suffering might be a memento mori " and serve as a still point around which to contemplate mortality. But she wondered how this could function---or fail to work---in a modern society," where space reserved for being serious is challenging to come by." If she thought that about television, novels, and art galleries, one wonders what she may have made of Pinterest.
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BTW I've also been suffering from red & swollen foreskin (place near the underside of glans / frenulum place) with occasional paper cuts since 1.5 years - particularly after intercourses. Have done all negative although tests for STD & fungi. Have been trying lotion against fungi and steroid cortisone but nothing has helped. Std test in Alaska United States. Now I am suspecting it could be genital psoriasis as the description of this desiese is extremely close to my symptoms. Already discussed with my physician about this and I'll get an appointment with a dermatologist - hopefully shortly.
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