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Medieval Medicine

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Davey12boii
Words 1216
Pages 5
David Dubkov
24. Mar.2016
EAC 150 - Aleksandra Bida

In the Middle Ages, medical knowledge was limited and remedies were not as effective as they are in the twenty first century. This is because the people of the Middle Ages did not have the vast and in depth knowledge of the human anatomy the way, we do today. They were not able to pinpoint the causes of most diseases, and as a result, were not able to cure them as effectively. People in the Middle Ages also had certain personal beliefs, which affected medical treatment. For instance, the people of medieval England believed that infectious diseases occurred due to the wrath of God because that individual was practicing unethical behaviour (Truman, Health and Medicine in Medieval England). Doctors of the Middle Ages even cured migraines by digging a hole into the skull. They believed that evil spirits were the cause of one’s pain and this was the way to release them. This method was ineffective, and was due to their beliefs, the lack of knowledge of the human body, and the use of unsanitary and dangerous methods of treatment (Trueman). The lack of knowledge stemmed from the fact that dissection was not commonly done. Nowadays, it is routine practise for a medical student to dissect dead animals and perhaps even a human body. This has allowed modern society to understand the workings of the human body on a deeper level. In this essay, I will explain how current day medical professionals have had more opportunities to conduct medical research, and as result, the ability to gain knowledge about disease causing factors and other physical ailments. This means that scientists are constantly advancing medical knowledge so that treatment is more effective, sanitary, and less deadly. As we enter this new age, opportunities for medical research are significantly more available because extensive research methods are no longer seen in a negative or unethical light. The example used above showed that dissecting deceased bodies used to be considered sinful behaviour. However, in modern times, dissection and experimentation on voluntary donors and cadavers is beneficial and is widely accepted for finding new and effective treatment. The Nordic regions are an example of vast opportunities for scientists and doctors to create and find new medical discoveries. The Nordic Research Centre is open to employing all physicians, researchers and scientists. An increasing number of medical researchers leads to an increasing number of new medical revolutions (Present Status and Future potential for Medical Research in Nordic Countries). Nordic “registries and biobanks” (Nordic Web) offer positive changes to medical research as well. This is because they offer state-of-the-art research facilities and equipment that researchers are able to utilize in order to come up with the best possible medical findings (Present Status and Future Potential for Medical Research in Nordic Countries). In addition, the use of public and private funding for medical research plays an important role in new medical findings. For instance, the Nordic region has “public ownership of universities and hospitals” (Present Status and Future Potential for Medical Research in Nordic Countries). This greatly benefits medical research by allowing hospitals and universities to collaborate in their research and create a vast amount of new medical knowledge (Present Status and Future Potential for Medical Research in Nordic Countries). The Nordic region also promotes research mobility, which means that researches are able to travel from one research facility to another, are able to go abroad and back to their hometowns to extend their research and allow them to create a dynamic knowledge of medicine (Present Status and Future Potential for Medical Research in Nordic Countries). As seen above, the Nordic region is a perfect example of the large amounts of opportunities available to researchers, allowing medical knowledge to expand. As the result of a larger knowledge base of medicine, new medical treatments are more efficient and safer. Furthermore, because of this newfound medical information, more can happen in the realm of preventing and stopping diseases before they cause serious harm. For example, in the Medieval Ages, a wound such as a laceration can ultimately lead to a person’s limb amputated, or worse, the infection can be of such magnitude that the affected individual may end up dying from the infection. In present times, we have been able to advance our medical understanding to the point where people are able to prevent infections that once destroyed people’s lives with simple ointments such as Polysporin. This cream prevents infection, which can easily begin on a cut or an open wound. There are also stronger cures, which use an antibiotic for more protection against infection. As the medical understanding of society furthers, researches are able to gain more and more knowledge and information that can save the lives of those inhabiting this earth. Comparatively speaking to the Medieval Era, where doctors believed that the church was the place to look for medical advice, we have come a long way. A common cold that advances into something like bronchitis is easily treatable with antibiotics prescribed from your doctor. This may seem as quite a simple and easy solution in comparison to the kind of trials and tribulations those in the Medieval Ages went through if they had fallen sick with bronchitis, as it often meant a death sentence. Still, there are flaws in the overall amelioration of medicine. For instance, as people’s base line of health improves, people tend to spend more on their health, and although some countries have health coverage granted by the government, not all conditions or treatments are included. Some would even argue that healthier people get the more then what they spend on health care, not less. However, we must understand that keeping individuals in the tens of millions is by far, not cheap. Especially if people living below or on the poverty line eat an unbalanced and unhealthy diet that greatly increases their chances of debilitating sicknesses such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It is thanks to public and private funding in the medical industry that civilization has found cures to common diseases as well as having the understanding of what causes disease to arise. The goal is to facilitate preventative measures and to make those measures accessible to the public. This will allow for a greater quality of life for everyone. To reiterate, with the increase in opportunity to gain more knowledge about the causation of sickness, scientists and medical researchers are able to prevent and even cure those that are sick. Research has also been able to make remedies more effective and less harmful to the people. We have made leaps and bounds in the field of medicine since the Middle Ages, but we still have a long way to go.

References
Foote, Jeremy . “Speed that kills: The role of Technology in Kate Chopin’s The Story Of An Hour” The Active Reader: Strategies for Academic Reading and Writing. 3rd edition, 2015. Print.

Oritz, Eduardo., and Clancey, Carolyn. “Use of Information Technology to Improve the Quality of Health Care in the United Sates:. Health Service Research. 38.2 (2003). Web.

Singh, Ajai R. "Modern Medicine: Towards Prevention, Cure, Well-being and Longevity." Mens Sana Monographs. Medknow Publications, 8 Dec. 2010. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

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