As human beings we’ve come along way from the ancient world, we have undergone a drastic change in the ways we live and go about our daily lives due to our technological advances. But the issue of medicine has not really improved in the way we treat, cure and understand certain diseases and how easily they target us. Even with everything we know about disease we still have some like cancer which we cant seem to permanently fight off and because of that we see that medicine then and now really seen enough of a change for us to fully eliminate disease and epidemics from spreading and further harming us. First, in modern medicine our ideas on how we base our understanding of disease as our body being invaded by certain pathogens and all we do is prescribe certain drugs that can either eliminate or temporarily subdue the effects of the disease/illness. Because we are so heavily relied on drugs we are forced to experiment with what we have to try to combat the diseases we do not understand. For example, in the film Awakenings we see that Dr. Malcolm Sayer tries to help out some catatonic patients who have a disease that they cant seem to understand the cause but he is determined to try to do something for the people by giving them a drug that he doesn’t know what it will do to them but tries it out anyway “ I don’t know what it will do to him, if anything” Marshall. “Awakenings”, Columbia picture corporation, 1990”. In the film the disease was not understood and was temporarily treated but not cured and allows us to see how our western medical system runs not for many other similar diseases.
In ancient Greece the idea of disease causation differs that of modern ways because Hippocrates, a Greek physician, based the belief of medicine on nature and the earth itself he came up with the Humural theory which was constructed of some aspects of life for example, physical imbalance, temperament, disease,
Cited: Hippocratics, "On Airs Waters, Places," Francis Adams (Translator), MIT internet classics archive, http://classics.mit.edu/Hippocrates/airwatpl.html Prachi Garodia et al, "From Ancient Medicine to Modern Medicine: Ayurvedic Concepts of Health and their Role in Inflammation and Cancer," Journal for the Society of Integrative Oncology vol 5 no. 1 (winter, 1990), p. 1-15. Edwin Smith Papyrus, http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/timelines/topics/smithpapyrus.htm Penny Marshall (Director) "Awakenings," Columbia Pictures, 1990. Mike Nichols (Director) "Wit," HBO, 2001 Kavey topics in History of Science, Technology & Medicine History 131, Fall 2014 John Jay College 8/28/2014