By Roberta E. Bivins (auth.)
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Extra resources for Acupuncture, Expertise and Cross-Cultural Medicine
Encountering illness: lay expectations of Chinese medicine After a tedious passage from Macao to the Chinese mainland, Lord Macartney and Captain Erasmus Gower sent the ship's tender, the Clarence, and a small party to shore at Chusan in search of native pilots who could guide the larger ships to Tientsin. George Staunton, the Embassy's historian and Macartney's right-hand man, led this group and recorded the subsequent events: During the stay of the Clarence in Chu-san harbour, one of the persons who came in her was seized with a violent cholera morbus, in consequence of eating too freely of some acid fruit he had found on shore.
To understand therapeutics . . its would-be-historian must see that it relates on the one hand to a cognitive system of explanation, and on the other, to a Expectations and Expertise 29 patterned interaction between doctor and patient . . 45 Rosenberg, 1985 Clearly, these stories, of Chinese medicine practised on British subjects and of British medicine practised on Chinese subjects, reveal a rich network of embedded assumptions about proper medical practice and understandings of the body.
However, they also reflect a fluid and transitional stage in European medicine, especially through the particular sites of contention between European and Asian practice. The three narrators, professional and lay members of the medical community, reject or challenge the same parts of Chinese medicine. Specifically, they resist the idea that the patient can be divorced from the illness, and that the patient's unique perceptions of his or her own body can be safely discarded from the diagnostic repertoire.