Alternative Health Care in Canada: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Perspectives


279 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 1-55130-114-8
DDC 610'.971




Edited by J.K. Crellin, R.R. Andersen, and J.T.H. Connor

Cynthia R. Comacchio is an associate professor of history at Wilfrid
Laurier University and the author of Nations Are Built of Babies: Saving
Ontario’s Mothers and Children.


Current attention to alternative healing makes this eclectic collection
of contemporary and historical perspectives particularly timely. The
book is a judicious mix of historical documents, contemporary
commentaries (professional and lay, mainstream and alternative), and
abridged reprints of pertinent analyses from respected academic journals
such as the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History.

This range of perspectives at ready access will be tremendously useful
to readers interested in Canadian health-care trends, the evolution of
medical ideas and therapeutics, and issues stemming from the
relationship between health care and the state. Especially valuable,
because of their rare mention in documentary evidence or published
analyses, are the excerpts pertaining to aboriginal medicine and ethnic
practices. The appendix, which outlines “a series of questions for
reflection” and is intended to encourage discussion in classrooms and
elsewhere, is imaginatively framed within the context of a medical
consultation and the taking of a case history.

Notwithstanding its exclusion of such topics as midwifery, women’s
alternative health care, and holistic approaches centred on
spirituality, Alternative Health Care in Canada is a resource well worth


“Alternative Health Care in Canada: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Perspectives,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,