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Re: OT: Corpses, etc. (was: Re: Gender in conlangs (was: Re: Umlauts (was Re: Elves and Ill Bethisad)))

From:Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
Date:Friday, November 7, 2003, 4:30
--- Isidora Zamora <isidora@...> wrote:
> > > Now, the Trehelish have a very good > > > understanding of herbal medicine and > > > are always improving it. > > > >Criminal guinea pigs? > > I hadn't thought about that till now. I expect > that the herbal medicine > has been improved largely by centuries of of > practice on normal patients; > you can't count on a criminal ginea pig to get > sick in the right way at the > right time, although I suppose that you could > try out different drugs to > see what sort of effects they had on a healthy > body.
Well, you can't count on noncriminals to get sick at the right time either! But at least with criminals, if you crowd them in gaols they're almost bound to get sick sooner or later. Then Bob's thy nuncle.
> Now that I really think about what I know > Trehelish people are like, I > suspect that they would not have the same > scruples that we would about > experimenting extensively on condemned men, > especially if they see it as > voluntary on the part of th subject.
Naturally, in old Hoopelle, they had no such scruples either. Even in modern cities around, criminals are sometimes used; but of course, Daine are always plentiful and there are no laws protecting them.
> He agrees to be experimented on; you > agree to cremate his body.
Good for everyone involved! The criminal can rest assured that he'll not be stuck in this world; and society can rest assured that criminals' ghosts won't be wandering about the place.
> He also avoids a public hanging. They would > probably not suffer from a lack of > "volunteers." I have known for a long > time that there is an important medical school > (the only one in the > country, I think) on the outskirts of > Sovchilen, the capital city. As you > know from my other post, Sovchilen has a high > crime rate, mainly theft, but > also murder. Thieves are whipped the first > three times they are caught, > and the fourth time, they are hanged.
Interesting. In Hoopelle, a Man charged with theft could be whipped, flogged, rat-tailed and/or thrown in gaol. Any punishment at all could be levied on a Daine, including death. It was very common to chop off a joint of the fingers or toes each time; or else a few inches of wing could be lopped off at a time. Creative judges might order that the earlobe be snipped off with scissors or that a Daine be turned over to the medical college. This latter punishment was generally considered worse than death, as it almost always involved "practice surgery" or vivisection, with or without anaesthesia.
> One thing that the "criminal gunea pigs" (as > you put it) would be useful for is practicing >
surgery. Yes. I mean, you want to make sure you know what you're doing on your paying patients!
> For instance, Trehelish physicians are familiar > with the phenomenon of appendicitis, and, by > means of autopsies (it is > invariably fatal), they have isolated the cause > of the condition. They > also understand that the inflamed appendix > needs to be removed before it > bursts in order to save the patient's life.
> However, that is easier said > than done. We're talking about opening up > someone's abdomen, after > all. If they had someone to practice on...
Apart from some minor anatomical differences, Daine also have a high incidence of situs inversus. Some amusing anecdotes are told by Mannish surgeons who learnt their anatomy from left oriented Daine and text books with left oriented pictures of Daine innards, only to find that practically no Men are so oriented! At least it has made them less likely to send home the odd human patient complaining of low left quadrant pain!
> As far as practicing surgery, I am wondering > what they use as a light source.
The big medical colleges (notably in Alexandria of Egypt) have fancy light collecting and conducting chambers. A sort of ur fiber optics that involves mirrors and lenses and prisms that collect either sunlight or lamplight, magnify it and send it along wave guides into the surgical theatre. The apparatus is called _via luculleria_, or just _luculleria_. In Auntimoanye, most surgeons either operate outside, in a solarium or use a _solidiscillus_, which is a polished bronze disc attached to a head strap.
> Speaking of guinea pigs, the Cwendaso have > something very like them. It is > called a khúno. They are rather larger than > your standard pet guinea pig, > since they were originally domesticated for > meat and have been selectively > bred. They also have angora fur. The > Tovláugad spin khúno fur together > with fine lambswool and weave it into shawls > and scarves (mufflers.)
I don't think there are any guinea pigs in Westmarche. There are several kinds of squirrels and squirrel-like rodents. Naturally, they're eaten; and the Daine make clothing out of their hides.
> > > They even have a > > > couple of antibiotics derived from herbs. > > > >Now those are some advances that Men haven't > made > >quite yet. At least not "officially". I'm sure > >there are some healers or wise women out there > >who know of the healing properties of certain > >molds. > > I haven't really decided whether the Trehelish > have discovered penicillin > or not. What they have discovered is that the > root of a certain plant > (which doesn't exist in this world) is a > powerful anti-infective when > applied to wounds and will cure some fevers > (but not others) when consumed.
There are a lot of plants on the World that don't exist here. Some are quite bizarre. Many have medicinal properties known to Daine healers. Their interest is especially in countering poisons and counteracting what passes for "allergies", as they do react to environmental particles.
> It also tends to upset bowel > function when consumed. They > understand a good bit about infection, but > nothing at all about bacteria or > viri. They don't have the lenses necessary to > see bacteria. I shouldn't > say that they understand *nothing* about > bacteria and viri, because they > understand very well that consuming > anti-infective drugs will cure "wound > fever" (I think we call it blood poisoning), > but that those same drugs will > do nothing for "weak fever" (a viral disease > which is endemic; well over > half of the population will contract it > sometime during their life. There > is a very extended convalescant period > following the acute phase of the > disease, and people end up dying from it if > they have no one to take care > of them, because they are too fatigued to fix > food for themselves and eat > it.) Trehelish physicians also understand that > once a person has had weak > fever once, they will never get it again. So > they understand the different > sorts of behavior associated with bacterial and > viral illnesses, but they > do not understand the infective agents.
Cool. Human doctors might understand that X disease can be countered by Y herb; but they have no cognizance that there is an agent that causes the disease.
> Trehelish medicine, by the way, is divided into > three branches: the use of > drugs (I need to come up with a better and more > concise term for this), > most of which are herbal, a great many of which > actually work; bonesetting, > which includes both repairing fractures, > relocating dislocated joints, > something similar to chiropractic care, and > massage; and surgery, which is > probably self-explanatory.
Fairly. :) In Auntimoanye and old Hoopelle, medicine is divided into Medicine (use of herbs, poultices, pills and potions); Barber-Surgery (essentially a men's barber that does minor skin surgery as well); Major Surgery (some of whom specialise); and Oculo-Dentiststry, who really do head and neck in general, including plastics and brain surgery. There is a nascent school that thinks some psychological problems are not in fact spiritual diseases as such and are looking into them as a sort of mental disease process. They're generally poopooed by both priests and Real Doctors.
> Unfortunately, many > of their surgeries are amputations.
Nothing like a good amputation to wake one up in the morning!
> In some cases, they simply are > not able to set a compound > fracture; the patient would bleed to death if > they attempted it, so they > are forced to amputate.
They need to learn how to use ligatures and cauterising irons! This is a fundamental of Eastern surgical practice and has all but eliminated death on the surgical table. Due to bleeding, that is.
> These three branches can overlap. For > instance, > surgery is always accompanied by anti-infective > drugs and drugs to control > pain. Bones may be set surgically; this is > something that they have been > getting better at lately. Now that I think > about it, this would be an area > where experiments could be set up on condemned > men (and this is really a > sickening thought) and they would have the > chance to improve their technique.
Yes. In Auntimoanye, a Daine might be sent to the Inquisitor for breaking, and then over to the medical college for setting. They're often sent with a tag saying something like "Ribbes and armes onlye, Please! And Noe banging of thee Heaved, Thank You!" depending on which Chapter the junior surgeons are studying from. Padraic. ===== To him that seeks, if he knock, the door will be opened; if he seeks, he shall find his way; if he searches for a way, he shall find his path. For though the Way is narrow, it's wisdom is written in the hearts of all: if ye would seek and find Rest, look first within! [The Petricon] -- Ill Bethisad -- <> Come visit The World! -- <> .


Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>