History Question (medicine) GCSE questionWatch
The influence of the roman catholic church was the main reason for lack of change in medicine (16 MARKS)
I strongly agree with this because the roman catholic church was an extremely powerful organisation which dominated the way people studied a range of topics including medicine. The church encourages people to believe that disease and illness was a punishment from God, this meant people only could pray and repent to god.
The church made sure that scholars of medicine learnt about the work of Galen as his work fit best the belief that God created human bodies to be perfect. Galen’s teaching was wrong for example Hippocrates and Galen brought in the theory of four humours which taught that the body was made of four fluids (blood, phlegm, black bile, yellow bile) and these four fluids have to be balanced for the body to be healthy, The four humours theory lead to people to do bloodletting which caused more deaths than it prevented. The four humorous theory was wrong but it became really popular as Galen wrote down his beliefs and was translated into Latin and was considered relay important texts by the Catholic church.
The roman catholic church also outlawed dissection so medical scholars couldn’t find out about the human anatomy themselves and therefore they wouldn’t be able to find how to prevent disease and what medicine could be used to cure diseases, they instead had to learn about Galen wrong ideas and Galen only dissected animals and their anatomy was different to humans
However, the church didn’t totally dominate medical teaching because people couldn’t find out the cure of disease and how diseases happen because surgery was attempted very rarely as there was no way to prevent blood loss and infections. The fact that treatments are attempted rarely meant doctors couldn’t observe patients and therefore couldn’t learn about anatomy and medicine. Real medicine was never really made as people believed remedies was the only way to cure disease and these were sold by apothecaries, these remedies were useless as it didn’t help prevent any disease or illness.
In summary, I do agree with the view expressed in the question, as the church and its message were so influential that people were unable to question it and the church made sure people learnt about Galen’s teaching which was wrong