Gift of £100 for Lepers, The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 September 1937
Barbarity, Coast Lazaret Hospital, criminals, disease, Dr E. H. Molesworth, ill-treatment, imprisonment, individual rights, infection, International Leprosy Association, Lazarus House, leprosy, Little Bay, medical treatment, medicine, medieval attitudes, New South Wales, NSW, primitive treatment, prisoners, scourge, segregation, skin diseases, susceptibility, Sydney University.
This article from the Sydney Morning Herald in 1937 relates the concerns and criticisms of Dr E. H. Molesworth, a lecturer in skin diseases at The University of Sydney, regarding the treatment of leprosy at the Coast Lazaret Hospital in the New South Wales region of Little Bay. Containing lengthy quotes, the article conveys Dr Molesworth’s view that Australian attitudes towards leprosy were still medieval, primitive and reactionary, and that as a consequence treatment for the disease was falling well behind the times when compared to European cities. The disease, he suggests, was still being viewed as a horrible scourge (as it had been in the middle ages), and so people suffering from it were regarded as dangerous pariahs who should be segregated from society. The resultant approach regarding treatment for the disease – to nominate specific areas away from the general populace and to lock sufferers away – deprived people of their individual rights and was tantamount to treating them like criminals, Dr Molesworth complained. It also made the disease more dangerous, because people who could be treated were concealing their condition on account of the stigma it continued to attract.
TROVE: National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17408348
The Sydney Morning Herald
28 September 1937, p.12