Medicine and Society
28 September, 2010
Medicine’s Impact: Is there more than meets the scalpel?
Today’s medicine is vastly different than it has ever been in our history and society. We are able to fix, cure and repair almost anything we want in the human body. When the average person thinks of how medicine has affected the American culture, many things- mostly good ones come to mind. However, in the past 100 years it has had a lot of negative impact as well. It is important to look at both the positive and the negative effects medicine and the health industry represent. Because of the medical privileges Americans have access to, there tends to be some taking advantage of what is truly necessary and what is not. It should also be mentioned that in many cases today, the intentions of medical professionals may be different than just helping a patient. Because of the media outpour of medical reality TV, featuring extreme surgeries and prizing people for changing physical aspects about themselves, it sends a different message. Some of the impacts have clearly been beneficial, for example preventative medicine, but others are debatable including new abilities to manipulate life (the abortion/ birth control debate), and the overuse of drugs to fix all our common issues which are just some of the ways medicine has impacted our society.
One of the beneficial impacts of medicine on our culture has been the new improvements and technology in preventing and curing diseases. Long gone are the days where someone would die of the common cold or a sanitation issue leading to the loss of a limb. Many common diseases such as the measles, mumps, polio and influenza were deadly up until vaccines were created to prevent such occurrences. Since these vaccines, the longevity and quality of life has increased as well as decreasing the death toll overall in these areas. With advances in medical equipment that allows early detection of diseases, they are able to