(9/17) Stigma, deforming metaphors and patients' moral experience of multibacillary leprosy in Sobral, Ceara State, Brazil.


(10/17) Solving the conundrum of Job: a probable biblical description of chronic renal failure with neurological symptoms.


(11/17) Influenza or not influenza: analysis of a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time.


(12/17) The plague of the Philistines and other pestilences in the Ancient World: exploring relations between the religious-literary tradition, artistic evidence and scientific proof.

In ancient times the term pestilence referred not only to infectious disease caused by Yersinia pestis, but also to several different epidemics. We explore the relations between references in the Bible and recent scientific evidence concerning some infectious diseases, especially the so-called Plague of the Philistines and leprosy. In addition, some considerations regarding possible connections among likely infectious epidemic diseases and the Ten Plagues of Egypt are reported. Evidence suggesting the presence of the rat in the Nile Valley in the II millennium BC is shown; a possible role of the rat in the plague spreading already in this historical period should be confirmed by these data. While the biblical tale in the Book of Samuel may well report an epidemic event resembling the plague, as to date this infectious disease remains unknown, it is not conceivable to confirm the presence of leprosy in the same age, because the little palaeopathologic evidence of the latter disease, in the geographic area corresponding to Egypt and Palestine, is late, dating back only to the II century AD.  (+info)

(13/17) A time for dogma, a time for the Bible, a time for condoms: building a Catholic theology of prevention in the face of public health policies at Casa Fonte Colombo in Porto Alegre, Brazil.


(14/17) Moral beliefs of physicians, medical students, clergy, and lay public concerning AIDS.

A questionnaire was developed to assess religiously based moral beliefs about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The questionnaire was administered to a group of primarily black physicians, a selection of freshman medical students, two groups of clergy representing contrasting philosophical orientations, a group of young urban black and white attendees of a black cultural event, and two groups of older whites from rural Tennessee who were attending health fairs. Other attitudes about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and related issues were also assessed. Results showed that 40% to 70% of rural whites strongly endorsed the idea that acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a product of "divine intervention" or "divine retribution." More than half attributed the epidemic to a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Two of five conservative clergy strongly agreed with the idea of divine intervention, whereas only one in 20 liberal clergy concurred. Approximately one in 10 physicians endorsed these propositions. The responses of freshman medical students were strikingly similar to those of physicians, except that less than half as many believed acquired immunodeficiency syndrome represents the fulfillment of a biblical prophecy. Physicians were remarkably similar to rural whites and conservative clergy in their distrust of the experts concerning the potential contagion of human immunodeficiency virus. When responses to several key items on the questionnaire were combined to create a measure of "conservatism," mean total scores differentiated all groups in the manner predicted. We conclude that religiously based moral beliefs about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome can have dangerous implications for the treatment of its victims by society and its caregivers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)  (+info)

(15/17) St Paul and temporal lobe epilepsy.

Evidence is offered to suggest a neurological origin for Paul's ecstatic visions. Paul's physical state at the time of his conversion is discussed and related to these ecstatic experiences. It is postulated that both were manifestations of temporal lobe epilepsy.  (+info)

(16/17) Why did Moses stammer? and, was Moses left-handed?

Moses, the great lawgiver, '... the chief of the prophets' according to Maimonides, probably had a speech defect. 'I am not a man of words ... for I am of slow speech, and of a slow tongue', Moses states, and later he pleads '... I am of uncircumsized lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me'. Most authorities consider these quotations to mean that he stammered.  (+info)