In the early twentieth century a wider debate took place about how Swedish society was to fight the spread of contagious venereal diseases and in 1910 a government committee had written a law proposal that would dramatically reform these measures previously, Swedish physicians had been united against any measures against these diseases that did not involve the regulation of prostitutes, but this consensus was slowly withering away in the early parts of the century. Female doctors and a younger generation of venereologists was drawing the conclusion that mandatory checks of only one out of two sexes was insufficient. This article reviews the debate regarding the regulation of prostitution that took place between conservative and liberal members in the Swedish Medical Association in 1911. It depicts a fierce discussion between members that still clung to nineteenth-century ideas of women as being prone to prostitution if left idle and unemployed, and liberal members that believed social injustices such as low wages laid behind women's decisions. The study gives an insight into the complexities of building the Swedish welfare state.
The first children's hospital in Sweden (Kronprinsessan Lovisa's Children's Hospital) was established in Stockholm in 1854. In 1885 it was divided into a medical and a surgical department. This constituted the birth of pediatric surgery in Sweden. Pediatric surgery has been included in undergraduate teaching programs since 1945. A personal Associate Professorate in Pediatric Urology was instituted at the Karolinska Medical School in Stockholm for N. O. Ericsson in the late fifties. Upon his retirement in 1976 this personal chair was converted into an established Professorship in Pediatric Surgery. Pediatric surgery has been recognized as a specialty by our Medical Association since 1947. A survey of the Annual Reports from the Lovisa Hospital from 1885 to 1969 shows three phases in the development of our specialty in Sweden. The first stage extends from 1885 to 1932. During this period the disease pattern was dominated by septic and tuberculous infections, by empyemas, and by ENT diseases. Few cases of congenital malformations were reported. The bulk of general surgery in childhood was performed in the departments of general surgery. The second stage (1932-1945) was characterized by a decreasing incidence of tuberculous infections, by a successive transfer of orthopedic and ENT patients to the Departments of Orthopedic and ENT surgery respectively. During this period, a marked increase occurred in the volume of malformation surgery. This was due to the centralized treatment of congenital anomalies. The third stage started in 1945. The war had ended and we became acquainted with the dramatic development of pediatric surgery in other countries, in particular in the USA. The main advance was the possibility of opening the chest for repair of congenital anomalies of the heart and the great vessels, of the esophagus, and of the diaphragm. Soon afterwards, rectosigmoidectomy was introduced for the treatment of Hirschsprung's disease. In 1952, a second department of pediatric surgery was opened in Stockholm as a part of a new Children's Clinic at the Karolinska University Hospital. The major part of general surgery from the Stockholm area and all of the cardiovascular surgery stayed with the "Lovisa Hospital", while the major part of neonatal surgery and specific abdominal surgery was performed at the Karolinska Hospital. In order to improve the rather underdeveloped situation of pediatric urology, N. O. Ericsson was appointed to the post of Associate Head of the Karolinska Department, soon bringing this field to the frontlines of international standards. This historical review ends with some of the author's personal memories from the last 50 years.
This is my personal memories concerning the Nordic periodical Acta Ophthalmologica in the period 1970-88. Poul Braendstrup was scientific secretary for Acta 1950-70 and chief editor 1970-75. His many important scientific works and enormous work for Acta is described, but also personal topics are mentioned. Acta meetings in the Danish Ophthalmol Society (DOS) and in the Nordic ophtalmol. Congresses are discussed. A referee-system is established from 1976, but with political contra scientific motives. Only a few papers arrived to Acta. A catastrophe in 1978 is mentioned. The new secretary Ingelise Truberg did an enormous work for the next ten years. Erik Jørgensen (1928-90) was our printer, and from 1975 our idealistic publisher after Munksgaard. The economy became better and the number of papers of high quality increased. The relationship to the new Nordic periodical Oftalmolog was discussed in 1982.