As my loyal readers are well-aware, I pretty much invented the idea of shaming people for using the word “medieval” indiscriminately. If only I’d patented that. Here’s the money quote from a press release that totally steals my thing:
The NHS has on a number of occasions been criticised for its approach to caring for patients, most famously by Bernard Kouchner, former French health minister and co-founder of Medecins Sans Frontieres, who called Britain’s healthcare system “intolerable and medieval”…
If Bernard Kouchner had really wanted to condemn the NHS and its practices, says Dr McCleery, he should have called it ‘Victorian’ instead.
“It was really during the 19th century, when rapid industrialisation and urbanisation had given rise to contagious diseases like cholera and typhoid, that hospitals were seen as places to fear. There were even campaigns to demolish all hospitals in the centre of London – such as St Thomas’, originally a medieval almshouse – and rebuild them in the country so people would not have to be reminded of the
suffering and death that they represented.”