PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
ThinkingChick
 
Comments: 46
Article views: 641
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all ThinkingChick's badges.
 

Down with science, because the dark ages were awesome

26 June 2012, 09:57
The heading is based on a comment I spotted, which prompted some research. I note with interest how many people bash science. Let's take a look at science and what it has done for us shall we? Obviously my knowledge is somewhat limited but I am sure other clever folk will come up with some other examples. I found a book, a while ago, which was printed in 1937 (not Dark Ages) which claimed that a tablespoon of petrol, sweetened with sugar, would cure a cold. Yup, it could kill you too, but the cold would be gone.

Back in the days when people were being burned for witchcraft and general non-belief, medicine became steeped in superstition and the Roman Catholic Church effectively completely dominated what direction the medical world took.

Any views different from the established Roman Catholic Church view could veer towards heresy with the punishments that entailed. Therefore, when the Roman Catholic Church stated that illnesses were punishments from God and that those who were ill were so because they were sinners, few argued otherwise. The punishment for heresy was a fairly unpleasant death.

Blood letting was a popular treatment for many diseases. Many diseases were thought to be caused by an excess of blood in the body and blood letting was seen as the obvious cure. When a large quantity of blood was required, the appropriate vein was cut. If only a small amount was needed, a leech would be used.
Diagnosis was also influenced by astrology. Medical charts informed physicians what not to do for people born under a certain start sign.
I found some great (and very disturbing) "cures" - here are a few:

Surgeons had a very poor understanding of human anatomy, anesthetics and antiseptic techniques to keep wounds and incisions from infection. It was not a pleasant time to be a patient, but if you valued your life, there was no choice. To relieve the pain, you submitted to more pain, and with any luck, you might get better. Surgeons in the early part of the Middle Ages were often monks because they had access to the best medical literature – often written by Arab scholars. But in 1215, the Pope said monks had to stop practicing surgery, so they instructed peasants to perform various forms of surgery. Farmers, who had little experience other than castrating animals, came into demand to perform anything from removing painful tooth abscesses to performing eye cataract surgery. Sounds great right?

Blockage of urine in the bladder, due to syphilis and other venereal diseases, was fairly common at a time when antibiotics were not available. The urinary catheter – a metal tube inserted through the urethra into the bladder – was first used in the mid-1300s. When a tube could not easily be passed into the bladder to relieve the obstruction, other procedures to enter the bladder were devised, some quite novel, though all probably as painful and dangerous as the condition itself. But hey, let's not embrace science and medicine in 2012.

Here is a description I found of the treatment of kidney stones: "If there is a stone in the bladder make sure of it as follows: have a strong person sit on a bench, his feet on a stool; the patient sits on his lap, legs bound to his neck with a bandage, or steadied on the shoulders of the assistants. The physician stands before the patient and inserts two fingers of his right hand into the anus, pressing with his left fist over the patient's pubes. With his fingers engaging the bladder from above, let him work over all of it. If he finds a hard, firm pellet it is a stone in the bladder... If you want to extract the stone, precede it with light diet and fasting for two days beforehand. On the third day, ... locate the stone, bring it to the neck of the bladder; there, at the entrance, with two fingers above the anus incise lengthwise with an instrument and extract the stone."

And women? Well, childbirth in the Middle Ages was considered so deadly that the Church told pregnant women to prepare their shrouds and confess their sins in case of death.

A popular medieval saying was, "The better the witch; the better the midwife"; to guard against witchcraft, the Church required midwives to be licensed by a bishop and swear an oath not to use magic when assisting women through labour. Well, they would say that even if they were praying to Satan - we all know what happened to witches.

In situations where a baby's abnormal birth position slowed its delivery, the birth attendant turned the infant inutero or shook the bed to attempt to reposition the fetus externally. A dead baby who failed to be delivered would be dismembered in the womb with sharp instruments and removed with a "squeezer." A retained placenta was delivered by means of counterweights, which pulled it out by force. Just great - I am sure all women are up for that crap.

Now, to less delicate matters:

The medieval version of the enema was known as the clyster, which is really an instrument for injecting fluids into the body through the anus. The clyster was a long metallic tube with a cupped end, into which the medicinal fluid was poured. The other end, a dull point, which was drilled with several small holes, was inserted into the anus. Fluids were poured in and a plunger was used to inject the fluids into the colon area, using a pumping action. Just fabulous!

Treatment of many diseases in the Middle Ages included prayers to patron saints for possible divine intervention. A seventh century Irish monk, St. Fiacre, was the patron saint for hemorrhoid sufferers - have to love the Catholics. He developed hemorrhoids from digging in his garden, one day, and sat on a stone which gave him a miraculous cure. The stone survives to this day with the imprint of his hemorrhoids and is visited by many hoping for a similar cure. The disease was often called “St. Fiacre’s curse” in the Middle Ages.

In more extreme cases of hemorrhoids, medieval physicians used their cautery irons to treat the problem - yes you read that right. Others believed that simply pulling them out with their fingernails was a solution, a solution that the Greek physician, Hippocrates suggested.

So, what's the point of this? STOP RUBBISHING SCIENCE!  I, for one, am deeply grateful that I live in a world where science and medicine has saved my life more than once. I love science. I am not prepared to go back to the dark or middle ages, or even 50 years ago in terms of health. Homeopathy, iridology and other idiocy can just, well, sod off.



Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
46 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Stannich Makiele
Fake South Africans

I have noticed recently a sudden increase in applications from Non-South Africans with South African documents.  Read more...

5 comments 1777 views
Submitted by
Beezy
Dear Christian

My heart is very sore as I write this letter. But I hope you will read it with an open mind and you won't feel like I'm trying to JUDGE you or anything.  Read more...

20 comments 2414 views
Submitted by
Herman Cummings
The Truth of Genesis: The Evil a...

This is a follow-up to a previous series named “The Sad Truth of Christianity and Judaism”.  Read more...

17 comments 689 views
Submitted by
StormyWeather
Exemptions in SA Public schools

I sit on the Governing Body of a public school in Gauteng. Every year we sit and go through applications for exemptions on school fees from parents that are unable to pay the full annual fees. Read more...

21 comments 1867 views
Submitted by
Gail Shorkend
Taxis

I notice that taxi's can be overloaded to the hilt. Why is that do they want to get more people in. Read more...

7 comments 256 views
Submitted by
John Campbell
Starting a new life

I, like the seed, have felt the darkness of the unknown, the claustrophobia of being in a space I did not understand, the anxiety of being in a place I did not feel I had chosen. Read more...

16 comments 2001 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.