An Interactive Annotated World Bibliography of Printed and Digital Works in the History of Medicine and the Life Sciences from Circa 2000 BCE to 2022 by Fielding H. Garrison (1870-1935), Leslie T. Morton (1907-2004), and Jeremy M. Norman (1945- ) Traditionally Known as “Garrison-Morton”

16011 entries, 14068 authors and 1941 subjects. Updated: June 19, 2024

KENNY, Elizabeth

2 entries
  • 4671

Infantile paralysis and cerebral diplegia: Methods used for the restoration of function.

Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1937.


Subjects: COUNTRIES, CONTINENTS AND REGIONS › Australia, NEUROLOGY › Inflammatory Conditions › Poliomyelitis, PHYSICAL MEDICINE / REHABILITATION, WOMEN, Publications by › Years 1900 - 1999
  • 12380

Polio wars: Sister Kenny and the golden age of American medicine. By Naomi Rogers.

New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

"During World War II, polio epidemics in the United States were viewed as the country's "other war at home": they could be neither predicted nor contained, and paralyzed patients faced disability in a world unfriendly to the disabled. These realities were exacerbated by the medical community's enforced orthodoxy in treating the disease, treatments that generally consisted of ineffective therapies. Polio Wars is the story of Sister Elizabeth Kenny — "Sister" being a reference to her status as a senior nurse, not a religious designation — who arrived in the US from Australia in 1940 espousing an unorthodox approach to the treatment of polio. Kenny approached the disease as a non-neurological affliction, championing such novel therapies as hot packs and muscle exercises in place of splinting, surgery, and immobilization. Her care embodied a different style of clinical practice, one of optimistic, patient-centered treatments that gave hope to desperate patients and families. The Kenny method, initially dismissed by the US medical establishment, gained overwhelming support over the ensuing decade, including the endorsement of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (today's March of Dimes), America's largest disease philanthropy. By 1952, a Gallup Poll identified Sister Kenny as most admired woman in America, and she went on to serve as an expert witness at Congressional hearings on scientific research, a foundation director, and the subject of a Hollywood film. Kenny breached professional and social mores, crafting a public persona that blended Florence Nightingale and Marie Curie. By the 1980s, following the discovery of the Salk and Sabin vaccines and the March of Dimes' withdrawal from polio research, most Americans had forgotten polio, its therapies, and Sister Kenny" (publisher).



Subjects: INFECTIOUS DISEASE › History of Infectious Disease, INFECTIOUS DISEASE › Neuroinfectious Diseases › Poliomyelitis (Infantile Paralysis)