History: Why there was little change in ideas about the cause of disease from 1250-1500

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  • Influencing beliefs: CAUSE of disease
    • Attitudes In Society
      • Medieval people had a strong belief in God and were too afraid of going to hell to criticize the Church
      • The people believed that since things had always been done a certain way, there was no need to change it
      • Physicians followed old ideas because people were superstitious and were not willing to pay for physicians who did not use tried and tested methods such as the Theory of the Four Humors
    • Science and Technology
      • There was a lack of scientific understanding in the Middle Ages
      • The printing press was invented in 1440 and eventually led to faster and easier sharing of medical texts (only after the Reformation tho)
      • Physicians and medical students tried to make new discoveries fit in with old theories rather than carrying out experiments to explain their new theories
    • Individuals and Institutions
      • The Church protected the Theory of the Four Humors as it fitted with their teachings
      • The Church strongly discouraged people from criticizing their teachings
      • The Church controlled medical learning and therefore chose what books were copied, printed and used in teaching
      • Galen was very popular with the Church because he taught that the body had been perfectly designed (as in a God)


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