Rivista per le Medical Humanities

Tiziana Filippi
rMH 10, 2009, 11-16

Work of compassion (or of the courage of nurses)

Compassion, in terms of sensibility for other’s suffering, ensures subjectivity in the meeting between practitioner and patient and humanizes the care practice. In order to defend this, the women, the nurses, courageously fight, exercising genuine resistance to the constraints within social work that pushes in the opposite direction. We must recognise the value of the work undertaken by nursing care, as only such recognition will allow these compassionate relationships to exist and maintain themselves in the right measures: avoiding that compassion should slide towards self-denial, and ensuring this way a respect for the subjectivity, of both the patient and the practitioner and the welfare of both parties.

Miriam Focaccia
rMH 10, 2009, 17-22

Giuseppina Cattani, doctors in Bologna at the end of the 18th Century

From about 1870, due to the new rules for women inside the University system, in addition to the discussions about women’s rights of that period, many women began studying in Universities, including the study of medicine, therefore embarking upon a professional career. The first woman, who studied medicine in 1877 in Florence, was Ernestina Paper, native of Odessa; subsequently Maria Farné Velleda undertook a degree in 1878 in Turin and Anna Kuliscioff in 1887 in Naples also the first woman to study at this University. Maria Montessori, who became a famous pedagogue, graduated from the University of Rome in 1896. Giuseppina Cattani, born at Imola the 26th of March 1859, was the first woman who graduated in medicine in Bologna in 1884 and consequently the first woman elected by the prestigious Medical and Surgical Society of the town. Through Giuseppina Cattani’s professional and personal vicissitudes, this paper wants to show the incredible lives of these female pioneers who were joined by a great spirit of independence and a strong desire for emancipation from their traditional roles. In their passion for medicine and research, they addressed the more human and social aspects within the discipline. They were devoted, with particular sensitivity, to social problems connected to their activity and became strong examples for the other women who followed the same path of study towards the professional career of medicine, especially in the XX century.

Caterina Botti
rMH 10, 2009, 23-28

Two-in-one. A feminist reflection on pregnancy and bioethics

Despite the remarkable attention dedicated by scholars in moral philosophy and bioethics to the moral questions in bringing individuals into this world, the theme of pregnancy remains unfathomable. Starting from a lack of reflection on pregnancy and the difficulty to recognise and resolve moral dilemmas that keep arising, we intend to propose to reconsider certain categories,
central to discussions on bioethics.

Sabrina Veneziani
rMH 10, 2009, 29-34

A girl at the table of Mondino de'Liuzzi?

From historiographical sources, it would seem that the young Alessandra Giliani da Persiceto was an important presence at the mortuary table of the celebrated doctor Mondino de’ Liuzzi of Bologne, the author of Anothomia in 1816, which became the main university literature. She would have in fact contributed to her teacher’s activities, through the creation of a technique useful for obtaining wax casts of blood vessels for educational purposes. Nevertheless, studying closely the myth of this woman, one discovers that her persona was recreated ad hoc, exploited by underhand lawyer Alessandro Macchiavelli, for the purpose of achieving other advantages, to the detriment of historical truth.

Gaia Marsico
rMH 10, 2009, 35-39

Thinking medicine: contributions from the feminist world

This paper proposes and summarizes some remarks on medicine from a feminist perspective. In our rich countries more and more domains of life become medicalized without careful consideration on cultural-socio-economical contexts, personal experiences and commercial pressures. BRCA1 testing is explored as an exemplary case to introduce several issues: dissemination of the scientific progress, the proposal of a public health that promotes public interest and common good, the  

Amedeo Grab
rMH 10, 2009, 67-71

Dignity, fragility, poverty

Fragility and poverty, in their various forms, touch a significant number of people also in our Western society, as confirmed by data form the Federal Office of Statistics. Faced with such subjects, it is necessary to give recognition to their indomitable dignity. Precisely because human dignity is universal, all beings should have respect from each other. In this universal responsibility, the believers and those who do not share the faith find themselves legitimately united.

Christian Marazzi
rMH 10, 2009, 72-77

Biocapitalism in crisis

In biocapitalism, work has become a source of pathologies. This article analyzes its structural causes by focusing on the transformations of the mode of production and on the process of financialization. The crisis of financial capitalism represents an opportunity to study in detail the nature of these processes. In biocapitalism life itself has become a direct source of economic value. Our task is to re-separate life from its economic dimension.