How Far Did Church Have a Positive Role in Medicine During the Period 1350-1750?

Topics: Black Death, Great Plague of London, Human anatomy Pages: 4 (1319 words) Published: July 3, 2013
The church both helped and hindered the progress of medicine from 1350 to 1750. This included the progress which the church made in hospital care leading to many successful methods used to this day. However this period also included continuance especially in explaining the causes of diseases, mainly due to the sheer control the church had over people’s opinions and its lack of acceptance for other theories. This conservatism had both positive and negative effects; it prevented people trying to challenge accepted ideas (the renaissance led people to challenge conservatism) it also however allowed continuance in medical successes.

The church had in many ways a positive role and this is mainly shown through their developments in hospitals.. Hospitals were mainly set up by the church as parts of monasteries and convents; they were the first steps that helped the population’s public health. Hospitals progressed in standards and effectiveness greatly through the period of 1350 to 1750. In the earlier years around the 14th century hospital’s numbers were increasing rapidly and by 1400 there were 500 across England. They would help patients by providing them with healthy food and water and rest, although this did not cure any illnesses it showed that they must have some knowledge of how to stay healthy. They would also make fresh herbs into remedies which they might treat some of the patients with, some of which were occasionally successful. This progressed when after Henry VIII’s closure of the monasteries in the 1530s more hospitals were eventually built over England (11 in London, and 46 across the rest of Britain.) This progress meant hospitals now took in the poor and some started to take in those with infectious diseases. Simple surgery was also introduced for example setting fractured bones but only if there was no other remedy. The quality of the healers and carers in these hospitals also greatly improved for example St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London had 3...
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