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How rational was the Greeks approach to medical knowledge and treatment?

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Introduction

How rational was the Greeks' approach to medical knowledge and treatment? It wasn't long before the Ancient Greece empire became acknowledged as being a civilization of new ideas and good education. Science and philosophy were both very important to the Greeks who spent a lot of money and time on education. Many individuals benefited from and contributed to its good education system. And so rational ideas of medicine thrived. However, Their intellect had not completely removed the supernatural beliefs. Huge Asclepions were built in major cities for the god of healing, Asclepios. These were places where the ill might stay for a night in hope of being healed by the god or by one of his two daughters Hygeia and Panacea. ...read more.

Middle

He believed that the four seasons effected the health of the human body and that at different times of the year, there would be an imbalance of the four fluids of the body: black bile, yellow bile, blood and phlegm. Each fluid represented an element and a season. Although this theory is wrong, it does show that the Greeks were thinking rationally. They had no knowledge of germs and so did not know of the actual causes of disease. They did know about the seasons and they could see that different illnesses were linked to different times of the year. So they incorrectly, but logically linked disease to the seasons. The treatments that Hippocrates suggested seemed reasonable and some of his cures which included cleanliness, rest, exercise and a healthy diet did work and did improve the health of his patients. ...read more.

Conclusion

Realising this shows that the ancient Greeks were basing their medical practices on rational ideas instead of fantasy. They kept records which they would refer to if similar cases appeared. On top of this, Hippocrates wanted to make certain that the doctors of the time would apply their medical knowledge correctly and keep up high standards. So he wrote the Hippocratic Oath whereby all doctor swore to treat patients to the best of their abilities and keep patient records a secret. This idea was so rational that the Hippocratic Oath is still used by doctors in the present day. By looking at the knowledge that the Greeks did have of Medicine, one can see that most of their theories of medical causes and treatments were based around rational ideas. And that although Asclepions were very important to the Ancient Greeks, actual doctors were getting their medical foundations from logical answers. ?? ?? ?? ?? Becky Morgan ...read more.

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