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Black Plauge Paper

  • Course: Hst 101
  • School: UNCW
Page 1 of 3

Black Plague vs. Medicine in the Middle Ages

In 1348, the Bubonic Plague swept through western Europe’s hemisphere taking out thirty to fifty percent of the total population. The Black Death set the stage for more modern medicine and spurred changes in public health and hospital management. The plague sent physicians scrambling to develop treatments and find causes. The Black Death also helped shift medicine toward greater emphasis on practice than there had been before. Lastly, it helped blend old and new practices of medicine in the Middle Ages. The Bubonic plague was a disease that not only held society, economy and medicine back in the Middle ages by causing lack of doctors and scientist; but it also pushed forward and opened pandoras box to research and treatment for disease. The Black Death propelled physicians and surgeons to develop treatments for the plague and find a cure. Someone had to find a cure and stop the mass amounts of death that was occurring, and this is where physicians and surgeons stepped in. The fight between physicians and surgeons became more pronounced and serious, especially as plague outbreaks continued to occur periodically in different locations. The causation of the fight was over who was most experienced to deal with disease. With the shortage of experienced and qualified people, there were many second-rate physicians that had to fill the duties. A few techniques they used were Bloodletting and other remedies such as putting frogs or leeches on the buboes to "rebalance the humors," as a normal routine. “Bloodletting is the withdrawal of blood from a patient to cure or prevent illness and disease. Bloodletting was based on an ancient system of medicine in which blood and other bodily fluid were regarded as "humors" that had to remain in proper balance to maintain health” (“Bloodletting”). Another idea these doctors had was producing theriac from snakeskin and was considered an all purpose cure in the 14th century....