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The experience of looking at The Sick Rose, which is a well-curated print presentation of images that are available digitally on the Wellcome Images site, raises questions about medical pictures that are historical, and when and in what media it's appropriate to look at them. It is one thing to take a beautifully bound book apart into a silent armchair and have a one-on-one encounter with all with a dignified man with a bulbous, untreated pendant tumour, or the face of a baby wizened by tertiary syphilis. It's another to see the exact same faces detached from the circumstance of Barnett and flit by on Pinterest, Tumblr, or Twitter, in a jumble of other unrelated images -supplying scholarship.
The Sick Rose is formed by afflictions, most of which are now rare in the Western world: gout, cholera, tuberculosis, advanced stages of syphilis. Online, the patients' anguish runs the danger of being seen as vintage"---nearly amusing in its dreadful extremity and its space from our own time. In a blog post about the procedure for assembling and later promoting The Sick Rose, Barnett acknowledged to a feeling of unease" about sending the pictures off into the world, worrying about the kitsch, understanding, and emptily ironized attitude" that could greet the pictures. (When Wired ran a slideshow of photos 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 pictures of something that occurred to someone somewhere. They're not pictured."
As historic medical images go digital, scholars and archivists are being forced to consider the benefits of disseminating the undoubtedly significant and interesting record of the evolution of medical practice with issues the pictures will probably be misused and misunderstood. Making the images available will probably lead to some tone deaf uses and respect at best---manipulating the shock value of an at body disfigured face or On the flip side, digitization of the types of images which were once accessible only to researchers with the resources to travel to archives can do lots of great. Such visibility can raise consciousness about past wrongs, ease the families of former patients and also connections between historians , even supply us with a fresh method to think about our own mortality. (Because there are great arguments on both sides, and because these medical images could be upsetting to some readers, we've chosen to place the photos we are printing with this post behind an electronic scrim, allowing you, the reader, to choose whether to view them.)
Here's one case that demonstrates how far such digitized photographs can slip from their contexts. Art historian Suzannah Biernoff has written about the fate of a group of patient pictures 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 particular component treating injuries that demanded maxillofacial surgery. Gillies commissioned photographers and artists to document his patients' presurgical harms, using the pictures to plan his team's strategy.
These pictures ended up on the Web as a portion of a mid-2000s exhibition titled Project Faade (now archived via the Wayback Machine ). The project, which was financed by the Wellcome Trust's SciArt Production Award, was a cooperation 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 from these archives with inspiration afterwards formed the foundation of an exhibition at London's National Army Museum. The job, Hartley writes on his web site , was meant to explore the effect of veterans' wartime injuries and subsequent facial surgeries on their lives.
Following the exhibit had closed, but the digital images had another life. Some pictures from the Job Faade archive ended up used in the plan of the genetic mutants (splicers") that players of the videogame BioShock must battle. One of the patients in the pictures, Henry Lumley, a pilot trainee, was injured on the day of his graduation from flying school and lived with his harm for a year before being declared to Gillies' care. Lumley died of postoperative complications, at age 26. (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 forced to roam around in virtual space, made into monsters for the amusement of gamers.
Std Test nearby Barnes. Does this matter, given that many (most?) BioShock players will never understand who these men were in real life? Biernoff writes that British culture during the World War I perceived departure in battle as glorious, but facial mutilation was seen as almost black---a fate worse than death"---and images of soldiers injured in this manner were censored, lest they decrease morale. So even if gamers never realize that the characters they're seeing on screen were once real men, it can still feel when they're trotted out as digitized monsters, like these men, ostracized in life, are being wronged again. Barnes KS, United States std test. As Wellcome Library archivist Natalie Walters pointed out in a post on the connection between BioShock along with the Gillies Archive: That nearly 100 years later similar pictures are used to frighten people in a computer game, gives us a peek into what life must have been like for individuals who sustained such disfiguring injuries." (She adds: How brave these men were to allow themselves to be photographed with extensive injuries, and to undergo treatments that frequently made them look worse before they seemed better.")
Std Test nearest Barnes. Dr. Andrew Bamji, the Gillies Archives' curator, told me over email that he approached the game's developers after finding out about this use and succeeded in contacting one. I pointed out that using identifiable guys in the circumstance of the game was an appalling way to treat the memory of veterans," Bamji wrote. He apologized and assured me that no further such images would be utilized, and there the matter ended." Where they were disassociated from the names and stories of the patients, and Hartley's Project Faade Bamji drew a clear distinction between the usage of such images in a project like BioShock. Std test near Kansas. I have no problem with the display of pictures in a historic context, as without this people don't understand what war can do."
Should we limit accessibility to upsetting digital images to folks who we can be certain will see them in appropriate context? Michael Sappol , a historian at the U.S. National Library of Medicine who has written about historical and contemporary medical display, has an argument to the contrary. The NLM's digital collections have recently posted a string of silent medical pictures from between 1929 and 1945 , a few of which represent what Sappol calls difficult themes": leprosy, electroshock, schizophrenia. Sappol mentions, in particular, this 1929 picture made at Cook County Hospital in Chicago , which shows four kids who are dying of rabies. Struggle, the patients convulse, bleed from the mouth; they are inconsolable, even as gloved adult hands reach from off screen to hold them or offer them water.
Sappol doesn't believe it should be the job of the librarian or archivist to decide that the people can't handle looking at such images. 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 kind of officer of 'who can view.' " With the NLM's electroshock therapy films from the 1930s, Sappol says, Some of the men and women in this picture ... look like they certainly don't consent to the procedure, and it's upsetting to see. I could say 'This man does not desire to be on camera, they're being humiliated.' But this is something we can learn from. If we never get to see this, who gets to know?" The interest we feel about such images, he asserts, is not shameful, but just human.
The issue is further complicated by the fact that visibility is preferred by some subjects. This is the situation with the Thalidomide Trust archive, which contains medical case files on folks produced withsevere birth defects after their mothers took the drug thalidomide to ease symptoms of morning sickness in the late 1950s-early-1960s," Wellcome archivist Helen Wakely wrote to me. The views of thalidomiders themselves on what should occur with their case files vary widely, but some definitely need their files and pictures made available for research as a deliberate act to open up disagreement."Of course, there is not any way to ask the patients whose bodies appear in The Sick Rose whether they would prefer to be viewed or remain concealed. Nevertheless, the modern example of thalidomide shows that we shouldn't presume that publication is tantamount to violation.
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. Barnes, KS Std Test. In 2010, Posner posted about the ethical quandary she faced when asked to collaborate with a producer at NPR's show Science Friday on a slideshow of lobotomy photographs. Neurologist Walter Freeman, who carried out more than 3,500 of the procedures, photographed and patients his filmed before and after their operations.
But Posner ultimately went ahead with the Science Friday slideshow, reasoning that by simply asking audiences to take a second look at the before" pictures of patients, which Freeman presented for his own goals as broken," she might be able to reveal that these faces comprise more options than Freeman ever saw." A commenter on the place of Posner wrote that he had lately learned that his grandpa, who he'd never met, had been institutionalized and lobotomized in West Virginia. The commenter wrote: I have never seen an image of my grandpa, never, ever, and I don't care if it is an image of him having this done I merely desire and desire to see a picture of him so MUCH. Can you tell me how to get to these archives?" It might have been considerably tougher for the commenter to locate her, if Posner hadn't gone ahead with Science Friday; the connection mightn't have been made. Std Test nearest Barnes.
Eventually, there is a spiritual argument for making such pictures accessible. KS United States std test. Even if medical images might be misused, Michael Sappol says, I don't need that chance to prevent these things that are really amazing records of the human encounter from being seen. ... We can learn from them, they could redeem us in some way. They could provide us with some type of curriculum of human suffering. ... Looking at them makes life richer and deeper." Barnett, despite his misgivings, concurs on this particular point: There's a power behind these pictures, there is a power they have over us, and we have to acknowledge or honor this at some point." He compares the images to a secular 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, images like those in the Sick Rose might remind us: This is the body, along with the conclusion that we all come to."
However, a vanitas requires space for contemplation---a space the Web seems ill to offer. Susan Sontag's closing book, Regarding the Pain of Others (2003), was composed as the Web was in the procedure for scattering photographs to the four winds. Sontag wrote that pictures of suffering could be a memento mori " and function as a still point around which to contemplate mortality. But she wondered how this may work---or fail to work---in a modern society," where space reserved for being serious is hard to come by." If she thought that about art galleries, novels, and television, one wonders what she may have made of Pinterest.
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BTW I've also been suffering from red & swollen foreskin (place close to the underside of glans / frenulum area) with occasional paper cuts since 1.5 years - notably after class. Have done tests for STD & fungi but all negative. Have been trying cream against fungi and steroid cortisone but nothing has helped. Std test near Kansas United States. Now I am guessing as the description of this desiese is very close to my symptoms, it could be genital psoriasis. Already discussed with my physician about this and I will get an appointment with a dermatologist - soon.
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