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

From:Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Date:Friday, November 7, 2003, 23:10
>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.
Well, as I wrote in one of my other posts, there aren't a lot of laws protecting Trehelish criminals. The two capital crimes are theft and murder, and Trehelish people have even less respect for thieves than they do for murderers. Ordinary Trehelish citizens tend to feel that thieves deserve no respect and no mercy. In talking with average Trehelish citizens about the treatment of prisoners, it doesn't work to use the humanitarian arguement, "How would you like to be treated like that," because you will almost invariably receive the response, "I didn't do anything to deserve it; they did." Trehelish tend to feel that, as long as you mind your manners, you'll be treated decently, and, if you don't mind your manners, you deserve whatever you get. There are some Trehels who are more compassionate than this, though.
>Interesting. In Hoopelle, a Man charged with >theft could be whipped, flogged, rat-tailed >and/or thrown in gaol.
The Trehelish don't bother with jail as punishment; there is no such thing as sentencing someone to time in prison; a jail is just a place to hold criminals until they can be tried and punished. Though a man can end up in prison for life under the right circumstances. Anyone condemned to death has the right to appeal his sentence to the Tefin, a panel of five judges in Sovchilen. (The word "tefin" is plural and means "merciful.") The Tefin may not do anything, in which case, he will hang anyway. They may exonerate him, if they feel that the original court made a mistake. They may pardon him, if they feel that that would be a good idea. They may also "protect" him. If they protect him, he won't be killed, but he becomes, essentially, slave labor for the rest of his life - and he'll still be buried when he dies, not cremated. So the Trehelish government does keep prisons, but no one is sentenced to them directly; it's actually seen as a priveledge to get into one. In some ways, the prisoners aren't treated too badly. They are fed well, and there is excellent medical care available, and they aren't overworked, just worked hard; they have to be in good condition to be able to work, after all, so they take care of them. In other ways, life isn't so nice...but I won't go into that; there's been enough serious nastiness in this thread already. (What do you expect from the subject line, anyway?)
> 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.
Can they actually fly with these wings? Where are the wings attatched? They're feathered, right?
> 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.
Now, the Trehelish physicians always use anaesthesia, at least for the surgery part of it. If they intentionally damaged something in order to repair it, that may or may not be done under anaesthesia, but the surgery is always done under anaesthesia, among other reasons because they want to simulate actual working conditions as closely as possible.
>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!
>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.
Well, the Cwendaso will eat almost anything that moves and tastes good, but, surprisingly, they dress themselves almost entirely in wool. I wish very much that I could draw well, because I know that I could do some great drawings of Cwendaso. I have a very clear picture of them in my mind. But, alas, I have not been properly trained to draw. (I need to see to it that my children do receive such training.)
>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.
Well, they understand, at the very least, that there are two classes of fevers: those that do respond to anti-infective drugs and those that don't. They also know that the one's that don't respond to the drugs can only be caught once. They also recognize that dirt, etc. can cause wounds to become infected and that these infections can be treated with anti-infective drugs, just like some fevers. So they recognize "dirt" (or something) as an infective agent. I don't know where they think the viral illnesses come from. They also understand the idea of illnesses being contagious. (i.e. They know that the people taking care of patients with weak fever during the acute phase had better already have had the disease themselves, or else they are going to catch it from their patients.) I do not know whether they have yet learned to sterilize things with heat. It would be nice if they've figured that one out, but there's no reason for them to have caught onto that without microscopes, and they don't even have decent magnifying lenses.
> > 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.
I'll need to give more thought to that, because, probably they have figured out how to stop bleeding if they have been experimenting with appendectomies. In the particular case that I had in mind, though, the physician was dealing with a very nasty compound fracture of the tibia and fibula. (A wagon wheel had rolled over it.) There was so much bleeding already (and it had taken them long enough to get the patient to him), and so much splintering of the bones that he felt that there was no way that he could possibly reconstruct the bone and not have the bone fragments severing important blood vessels when things were moved around. But, under more normal circumstances, probably they can stop bleeding. Isidora


Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>