History Corner: Quakers & Immunisation

John Lampen of Stourbridge Quaker Meeting has been looking recently at the efforts of Quaker doctors to prevent smallpox outbreaks and develop mass immunity to the disease in the eighteenth century.

It’s a fascinating story, and he’s written a 6-page article about it.  These doctors played an important part in developing the methods which are being employed today to halt the spread of coronavirus.  But the only technique available to them involved a risky process, varioalation, which could also spread the disease;  and this raised difficult medical and moral questions for Friends.   

John would be glad to share the article with anyone interested, if you send your email address to lampen@hopeproject.co.uk.