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The Vaccination ControversyThe Rise, Reign and Fall of Compulsory Vaccination for Smallpox$
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Stanley Williamson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310867

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846314216

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A Cruel and Degrading Imposture

A Cruel and Degrading Imposture

(p.188) Chapter 15 A Cruel and Degrading Imposture
The Vaccination Controversy
Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes two prominent opponents of vaccination who were also members of the medical profession. The first is Edgar Crookshank, Professor of Comparative Pathology and Bacteriology and Fellow of King's College, London, the essence of whose argument against vaccination was that the power of conferring immunity to smallpox, claimed for cowpox by disciples of Jenner, was a fallacy because what was injected under the guise of cowpox was in fact smallpox. The other is Charles Creighton, who wrote The History of Epidemics in Britain (two volumes, 1894). He believed that there was no connection between cowpox and smallpox, but that there was one, derived by way of the process of ‘unconscious memory’ (of disease), between cowpox and the great pox, i.e., syphilis. The chapter also discusses another anti-vaccinationist who is better known than all the others put together: George Bernard Shaw.

Keywords:   anti-vaccination, Edgar Crookshank, smallpox, compulsory vaccination, cowpox, Charles Creighton, syphilis, George Bernard Shaw

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