Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Rosa Anglica (Author: [unknown])

section 12


Since we have spoken of phlebotomy, it may be asked, is it meet to let a vein here, till weakness seize the sick man? They say it is meet, for Galen says, when we bleed a patient in acute fevers, it is till weakness seizes him, for that cools the whole body at once, quenches the fever, and relaxes the bowels; the sweat breaks out, and many folk have I cured entirely thereby. Therefore it is meet to bleed a sick man usque ad syncopen. Item Avicenna says the same, but Averroes is against it, and says, the patient should not be bled to the point of faintness. Avicenna says that it is better to remain within the limit in drawing off superfluities than not to perform the letting. Item he says again, it is better to increase the number of times, than the quantity. Item he says again, in excessive repletion it is meet for the evacuating to be equable,37 by drawing off the matter gradually, and such purging does no harm to the weakened body, and therefore still less to a strong38 body. To this I say, with Averroes, that it is imprudent to continue the letting till the sick man is at the point of collapse; for Galen says:39 ‘See, O learned man, that weakness seize not thy patient under thy hands.’ Thou mayest


continue till slight weakness of the branches lay hold of him, according to Constantine. Or as Avicenna says: ‘Cease not, till he be approaching faintness’; and there he speaks of the weakness of the branches and not of that of the force.40