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Twentieth Century Medicine: is it good for you?

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  • Essay length: 848 words
  • Submitted: 04/11/2003
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University Degree Behavioural Science

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Twentieth Century Medicine: is it good for you?

Medicine of the 20th century is a great deal more powerful and effective than that of previous centuries. But with this power has come a price, several in fact, all adding up to a bill of human suffering that seems horrendous. Thalidomide, salmonella, super bugs, the list goes on. But with these consequences, great learning has happened and the majority of medical treatments are of benefit to humanity. A sizeable portion saving lives. An example of this is smallpox, which, thanks to Jenner's discovery of vaccinations, has been wiped off the planet, except in controlled laboratory conditions.

The four main points of criticism when it comes to 20th century medicine are drugs, vaccines, hospitals and high technology medicine. High technology medicine is criticised because it is basically seen as being too powerful, e.g. it can make a body that is technically brain dead, chemically alive or where the medicine is so powerful that a small slip up can have disastrous results. Put it simply it seems to put the power of God into the hands of a doctor, who is only human, and humans are not infallible, so

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