The Making of Modern Medicine

Episode 14: Changing disease identity

BBC Radio 4
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15 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:

A side effect of progress in medical thinking is that diseases had identities changed.

A side effect of progress in medical thinking is that diseases often had their identities changed over time. Andrew looks at the disease that became known as tuberculosis.

A major narrative history series exploring over 2,000 years of western medicine, written and presented by medical historian Andrew Cunningham.

We assume all diseases are eternal. But a side-effect of progress in medical thinking is that diseases often had their identities changed over time. New measuring tools meant that it was impossible to say whether a disease, before and after scientific medicine developed, was in fact the same disease.

Andrew examines the many changing identities of consumption - soon to become known as tuberculosis - a widespread disease throughout 19th century Europe, affecting people of all ages and from all walks of life.

The readers are Tamsin Greig, Scott Handy and Peter Capaldi.

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