Flashcards in The beginnings of change 1500-1750 Deck (16):
Which new ideas developed during the Renaissance?
NB Renaissance refers to the re- birth of learning
The Reformation (challenged the position of the Catholic Church)
The invention of the microsope
The creation of the printing press
Art which showed the human body in realistic detail
Increased wealth in England meant more money was spent on education
What was the impact of these new ideas?
The Reformation led individuals to question more and not to merely accept Church teachings
A more scientific approach to learning was developed incl. observation, hypothesis, experimentation and questioning
The microscope helped doctors and scientists to make and explain discoveries
The creation of the printing press allowed ideas to spread easily throughout Europe, e.g. the discoveries of Vesalius, Pare and Harvey
Medical texts now had realistic illustrations allowing others to learn more
Improved literacy increased the numbers of people accessing new scientific ideas
How did Vesalius (1514-1564) improve understanding of human anatomy?
NB Vesalius was Professor of Surgery at the University of Padua in Italy
He dissected humans not animals, allowing him to prove Galen wrong in a number of ways, e.g. a human breastbone has three parts, not seven as in apes. He said medical students should learn from dissections.
He worked with skilled artists to ensure his findings were accurately recorded and easy for others to learn from.
In 1543 he published 'On the Fabric of the Human Body',
proving the value of human dissection and the need to
question ancient learning (Hippocrates and Galen) — a
version of this text called the Compendiosa (published by Thomas Geminus) became popular among barber surgeons in England
Yet Vesalius had limited impact on treatments — doctors still did not know about the cause of illness. Others criticized him for questioning Galen
How did Pare (1510-1590) use scientific method to improve treatments and surgery?
He was a French army surgeon who experimented on
wounded soldiers to discover better ways of preventing
Instead of using hot oil to seal wounds, he used his own
mixture of egg yolk, turpentine and oil of roses (by chance he had ran out of oil —the mixture he used was an old Roman technique)
To prevent bleeding after amputation, he used ligatures to tie wounds instead of cauterising, which proved more
successful; he even designed false limbs for wounded
He spread these ideas through his book (1575) Les Oeuvres ('Works'); his work became famous among British doctors and surgeons, many of whom studied in Europe. The Queen's own surgeon made Pare's work very well known.
Yet his impact on British medicine was limited; only the rich could afford to pay for medical treatment and only trained doctors knew about it. Some doctors did not trust his new methods.
How did Harvey (1578-1657) develop knowledge of medicine?
He worked as a doctor in England and held important posts incl. being doctor to both James I and Charles I (including experience on the battlefield); he was thus in a strong position to influence others
He discovered and proved that veins in the body had valves and that blood was pumped around the body by the heart beating constantly
His theory challenged Galen who taught the liver produced blood; Harvey thus challenged the popular treatment of bleeding
He published 'On the Motion of the Heart' in 1628 not all
were convinced, including some of his own patients who refused to be treated by him
His work was rejected by conservative doctors who
supported Galen and refused to accept the use of
experiments in medicine. Some refused to accept his ideas since they were unable to see capillaries — it would be another 60 years before they could by using a good enough microscope. The capillaries showed how blood moved between the veins and arteries
Harvey's work was not immediately useful — transfusions did not happen until 1901 when blood groups were discovered.
How did treatments develop during the Renaissance?
Improved travel and communication advanced medical treatment in Britain. New herbs and ideas were introduced, and individuals such as Lady Grace Mildmay incorporated new herbs and remedies into their treatments
In what ways did medicine not progress?
Poorer people continued to buy treatments form quacks who traveled the country making profits form false treatments. Most people continued to be treated by female family members or local wise women. Both groups used herbal remedies and traditional treatments
What did people think caused the Great Plague of 1665?
Sinful behavior (remedy was prayer) or miasma (streets were cleaned and posies carried to prevent miasma being breathed in).
Over 100,000 died in London.
Which new treatments were used to combat the Great Plague?
Plague doctors were hired by towns — they wore special clothing to prevent them catching the disease, yet also carried amulets showing that people still believed in supernatural causes
Which treatments to combat the Great Plague showed evidence of scientific understanding?
It was observed that death rates were higher in poorer, dirtier places (thus promoting cleaning of streets), and watchmen prevented people entering and leaving infected houses to try and stop the infection from spreading. Gatherings of crowds were banned; fires were lit to try to remove the poisons that were thought to be in the air.
Did hospitals develop during this period?
Rich people through donations funded most hospitals (e.g. Guy's 1724) — the Church's role in funding was reduced. Indeed, fewer people thought illness was a punishment from God. Specialist wards were created, and there were often medical schools attached to
train doctors. Some such as Edinburgh had pharmacies where the poor were given free medicines. Hospitals continued to provide care for the most vulnerable, although treatments were still based upon
balancing the Four Humours. Yet nurses continued to be untrained and unskilled.
How did the training and status of doctors and surgeons improve during this period?
In 1800 the Royal College of Surgeons was established — it examined all surgeons practising within seven miles of London. In 1811 it became compulsory for all surgeons to attend a one year course in anatomy before they qualified as surgeons. In 1813 surgeons had to work for at least one year in a hospital to qualify.
Explain the significance of John Hunter
Hunter trained many British surgeons (incl. Edward Jenner) after 1768 — like Vesalius, Hunter encouraged human dissection to advance the understanding of anatomy. He told surgeons to trust the body's natural wound-healing process; he taught the importance of observation and experiment. One example of his
radical techniques was removing the aneurysm instead of amputation — successes such as these were partly down to the number of dead bodies he dissected (some of which he acquired from grave-robbers)
How was smallpox treated prior to Jenner's vaccination?
To help combat the frequent outbreaks of smallpox, inoculation was introduced to England from Turkey by Lady Montagu —this involved giving a small dose of smallpox to make a person immune to the disease. However if the dose was too large, the person could
develop full-blown smallpox. Poor people could not afford this treatment.
Explain the circumstances surrounding Jenner's vaccine
Jenner injected James Phipps with pus from cowpox sores; it gave James Phipps immunity against smallpox. Vaccination was far less dangerous than inoculation its success brought a grant of £10,000 from Parliament for Jenner to expand the number of vaccine clinics
(even the royal family were vaccinated). In 1853 vaccination was made compulsory.