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Salem Hospital
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General Information
Residents
Type

public building

Located In

Salem, Massachusetts

The hospital in Salem, a wooden building that houses the sick patients, especially the victims of the plague during the course of the second season of Salem (TV Series).

Description

The hospital in Salem consists of a large wooden building, with a main room separated by screens and sheets hanging from the ceiling. The hospital also houses the study and laboratory of dr. Wainwright, where the doctor arrived from England conducts his experiments, including autopsies, which are seen as necromancy by the most fervent Puritans.[1] The laboratory consists of a large room with walls covered with pictures of dismembered bodies and studies of organs in detail. Shelves are home jars and stills with medicines and strange ingredients, as fetuses or parts of animals, perhaps rudimentary experiments.

In History

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Mary observes anatomical studies drawn by Wainwright

In the Renaissance period the rise the scientific mentality has its roots, strongly opposed by the Catholic Church, which condemned its precepts as heresy. Names in the medical and scientific field of that period were Galileo Galilei, Paracelsus, Isaac Newton, Ficino, Leonardo Da Vinci to name a few. One of the major charges against these embryonic scientists was caused due to the study of the human body such as autopsies and surgeries, often on the corpses stolen from cemeteries. These practices have been cast as blesfeme and could even lead to death. In a period dominated by fear and by the iron fist of the Church, the human body was completely demonized and preached chastity and modesty (although many of the high clerics were the first to yield to lust), reaching its peak after the Schism, producing religious zealots like the Puritans. In the Modern Age, then, the experimental medicine is still very rudimentary and medical care are often deceptive, because based on misconceptions and strongly influenced by superstition and by Christian beliefs, believing that such diseases were a punishment from God[2] or the result of witchcraft[3]. Strong influence also comes from the Middle Eastern medicine, for example with the humoral theories according to which diseases are disorders caused by an imbalance of bodily humors. Hospitals, more than places of healing, were caves in which Death had its lair and hospitals continued to have this terrible reputation far beyond the Victorian age. The surgeons were operating without anesthesia or resorting to psychoactive substances or alcohol to stun patients. The infections and contagions were common and poor hygiene was not providing population's health. Healers, cunning folk and those who then were branded as witches and burned alive at the stake were more likely to use herbal mixtures, but even here the lack of success of a cure could lead to accusations of maleficium and before the tribunal of the Inquisition.

Throughout the Salem series

With the spread of the plague, the people of Salem were forced to rig a makeshift hospital in the city. To direct it comes to town dr. Wainwright, an experienced surgeon complete with a real certificate from the British Crown. Here Wainwright starts to treat patients suffering from the plague, trying all the care and know that in the meantime, seeking the source of the disease by studying the outbreaks through which it has spread. Wainwright has also set up a laboratory in which hung the illustrations he himself designed, depicting human bodies dissected, as well as jars with fetuses, medicines and other stills. In this laboratory, the doctor also conducts autopsies (eg. that on councilor Corwin's corpse) and, together with the rev. Cotton Mather, he also dissects the living body of a leper, finding that the internal organs of patients are liquefied and turned into hell-blood, a mysterious liquid tar-like eroding like acid and that burns like the fires of Hell.

Gallery

References

  1. Mary Sibley say that in the episode From Within
  2. W. Hathorne, in the episode Cry Havoc, says that the plague is God's will that punishes Salem for having a woman at the helm.
  3. In the universe of Salem we find that plagues can really be caused by witchcraft. The most obvious examples are the witch pox spread from The Malum and the curse on the doll that caused a hemorrhage in Anne Hale.

Trivia

  • The laboratory is the place where Mary Sibley and Dr.Wainwright shared their first kiss. It was also the place where the doctor used his hands to masturbate Mary Sibley.
    • The laboratory plays a role similar to that held by the study of Cotton Mather in the 1st season.
  • In Book of Shadows, dr. Wainwright mentions Sir Isaac Newton during a talk with Cotton Mather, and claims to know him and to be part of the same scientific society.
  • The research and papers were destroyed by Wainwright himself once he joined the cause of the witches, as they were a proof of the plague as originated by witchcraft.

See Also

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