Thursday Forum traces history of healing in America

Extra: Lonnie Zingula, Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8613 or

2011-10-14 12:52:38 - General

Coe College nursing faculty will contrast current health care practices with those of the 18th and 19th centuries in the final Thursday Forum of the calendar year.

Beginning Oct. 27, Registrar and Professor of Nursing Evelyn Moore will address changes in childbirth care from attendance at home with the use of magical helping techniques, to the early hospital environment when medicine became involved, to the highly technological support available today. The experiences of three pregnant Mayflower passengers, the advent and demise of midwifery, the development of medical education, and causes of death in childbirth will be examined.

On Nov. 3, looking at commonly known diseases, Professor of Nursing Jule Ohrt will contrast archaic medical treatments with current treatment, and explore the impact of social status and wealth on treatment choices and site of care. Common maladies discussed will include ague, catarrh, cholera, diphtheria, consumption and glandular fever.

Associate Professor of Nursing Brenda Shostrom will lecture about mental illness in the third session on Nov. 10. People considered “mad” were kept away from the rest of society in madhouses, asylums and royal towers. Subject to inhumane conditions, the mentally ill endured tremendous suffering, including insulin shock therapy and ice baths. Until 1950 there were no medications available to treat any mental health problem, and psychotherapy was still in its infancy.

The series concludes Nov. 17 with a discussion by nursing instructor Mary Louise Taylor about the changing relationships among healthcare providers and their ethical and legal responsibilities to patients. Consideration of the legal and ethical duties healthcare providers owe each other and their patients will conclude the series.

The lectures will be held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with coffee and pastries from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. The luncheon that usually concludes the series will be held after the Nov. 10 lecture instead.

The courses are open to all adults and registration is on-site. The cost is $30 for a four-week course or $10 per week. The closing luncheons cost an additional $8. Thursday Forum gift certificates are available. For more information about the Coe College Thursday Forum lecture series, call (319) 399-8619.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • “History of Healing in America: Midwives, Madness and Maladies” – Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, 10, 17.
  • “Asia 52402” – Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23.
  • “The Order in Chaos” – March 8, 15, 22, 29.
  • “Environmental Issues: Past, Present and Future” – April 5, 12, 19, 26.