BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 3321

Why did surgery become more common in the 1800s?

Why did surgery become more common in the 1800s?
Key Info
  • Why did surgery become more common in the 1800s?
  • Duration: 04:48
  • In the 1840s, illness was no longer about the whole person but about the affected body part. At the same time, people began to choose surgery over drugs or medicine, just like 'Elizabeth P' who chose to have an amputation of her leg. Previously, doctors would have advised the unfortunate person to 'balance' her life/work, but now the operation went ahead.
  • Subject:



    Medicine Through Time

  • Keywords: medicine through time, health, surgery, amputation, Victorian, 1800s, 19th century
Ideas for use in class
  • Students could watch the clip and then be asked to write a doctor's report/treatment card for Elizabeth P as if she lived 500 years previously to help demonstrate how differently she would have been treated then.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 4x3

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