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Sighet Museum: Room 72 – Medicine in Prison

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One of the social categories hardest hit by communist repression was that of physicians and medical students.  More than 1.5% of the total number of political prisoners in Romania were followers of Hippocrates.
The reason for this disproportion can be deduced from the “Medicine in Prison” room.  Given the humanist character of their profession, and given the professional oath that obliged them to treat all patients with equal compassion (even if they were “enemies of the people”), physicians soon became a favourite target for those who wanted to liquidate every last trace of opposition and even any non-adherence to their goals.
On the other hand, given the culture and romanticism of the physicians of those days, they were also unreservedly active in the democratic parties and refused to adopt communist medical jargon, which tended to “translate” medical notions, phenomena and even illnesses into a strange Soviet idiom, negating all that was western.