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How far did the Church have a positive role in medicine during the period 1350-1500AD?

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Introduction

´╗┐The church definitely aided in the progression of medicine; one way, was by building the first hospital, named Hotel Dieu, in Paris, France. It was one of the first hospitals for the ill, as there were hospitals before that, however, just for wounded soldiers. The nurses and doctors, who worked there, were nuns and monks. Another way that the church helped advancements in medicine was through universities. The monasteries and convents had libraries that preserved many books and some became centres for learning. Some then grew into universities and offered training in the ?Arts?, which included the study of rhetoric, geometry, astronomy and music. ...read more.

Middle

The fact that the church acknowledged Galen?s ideas meant that the public, who were very influenced by the church, believed in Galen?s ideas. The church also had a negative impact on medicine, as the dissection of humans was limited to one dissection per medical school year; the people that were used for the dissections were criminals. This resulted in many theories and ideas made by physicians in Rome, about the human body, to be wrong, as they were forced to dissect animals to gain knowledge about anatomy. However, in Alexandria, Egypt, doctors in medical training were allowed to dissect human bodies and therefore many aspiring doctors were attracted to this region. ...read more.

Conclusion

This halted the study of illness. An additional way that the church had a negative impact on medicine was by not allowing anyone to question the ideas of Galen. Many of Galen?s ideas were ascertained by looking at the bodies of animals, such as the Barbary Ape, this animal is one of human?s closest ancestors, however human anatomy is still different, and therefore his discoveries of where the organs were positioned and what there uses were; were incorrect. When physicians, such as Paracelsus challenged Galen, the church did not recognise their research on human anatomy as they were challenging the ideas of a ?Christian-man? against theirs of a scientific perspective. How far did the church have a positive role in medicine during the period 1350-1500AD? ...read more.

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