Medicine through time 7 mark questions and answers

here are some questions from past ocr papers worth 7 marks, and some sample answers taken from the mark scheme

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7 mark Questions
Explain how the way of life and the beliefs of the Egyptians helped to make
advances in medicine
Egypt was a very wealthy country thanks to the River Nile. Every Year when the river
flooded it covered the surrounding land with fertile soil which then gave rich harvests of good
crops. Farming became so very successful that landowners and farmers became very rich.
This wealth led to improvements in medicine. The rich had enough money to employ their own
specialist doctors to look after them. These specialists spent most of their lives trying to
improve their understanding of medicine, health, and different cures. There were also
specialist metal workers that made metal surgical instruments. Some Egyptians compared the
River Nile to the human body. A natural idea they had on the cause of disease was that there
were channels in the body and if they became blocked then a person became ill. This was
because they had seen that if irrigation ditches became blocked then the crops died!
Religious beliefs helped the Egyptians gain a greater knowledge of the human body as they
could learn a lot during mummification as the process included removing some of the main
organs, such as the heart, lungs and liver. However it was priests rather than doctors who
removed the organs and although knowledge of inside the human body (anatomy) increased
dramatically at this time, religious rulers would not allow dissection or examination of the
organs. They were simply put into Canopic jars and left.
Religious rulers said that people were to keep their clothes and bodies clean. This improved
public health. All cures were used with prayers and spells. People often wore charms such
as scarab beetles to ward off illness.
Writing meant that the Egyptians could write down their treatments. Doctors now had to be
trained to learn all past knowledge and growing knowledge. The Egyptians wrote medical
books and prescriptions.
Explain why the Greeks used both supernatural and natural approaches to medicine
The Greeks used both because they started to explain the world through Gods but they
gradually turned towards natural explanations. They used natural methods such as the
Theory of the Four Humours. The humours were: black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood.
It stated that the body was made up of humours and for a person to be healthy the humours
had to be kept in balance. However, during the year some of the humours got out of
balance, this led to illness. In winter they noticed that the body was trying to get rid of
phlegm, and in summer people vomited more.
A supernatural approach included praying to Asclepius, who was the God of healing. The
Greeks believed that if people visited the temple to worship Asclepius then they would be
healed. Visitors would make offerings to God, pray, and sleep in the temple. They believed
Asclepius would visit them at night with his snake and daughters and cure the patient.

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Explain why the work of Galen is important to the history of medicine
Galen is important because he was the person that most people followed in the Middle Ages
for their ideas about the human body and medicine. He found out a lot about the anatomy
(structure) of the human body and his books were used by doctors for hundreds of years.…read more

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Explain why blood letting was widely used in the Middle Ages
Bloodletting was widely used in the Middle Ages because many diseases were thought to be
caused by excess blood in the body and bloodletting was seen as an obvious cure. As they
believed in Galen's Theory of Opposites, they needed to make sure the humours were in
balance. Blood letting was used as one way to get the humours back into balance.…read more

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Explain why Vesalius was able to make so many discoveries about the human body
at that time
Vesalius was able to make so many discoveries at that time because it was the beginning of
the renaissance or the rebirth of learning. The idea of the renaissance meant that Vesalius
was rethinking over old ideas of the Greeks. Hippocrates (a great Doctor) had taught that to
understand the human body and nature it is key to observe.…read more

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Chance helped Pasteur a lot. When his assistant was injecting chickens with germs he forgot
to do it because he wanted to rush off on his holiday. When he came back he did the injections
then. The chickens did not die. Pasteur worked out that the germs that had been left had got
weaker. When they were injected into the chickens they were not strong enough to kill them
but they did give the chickens protection from disease.…read more

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Chance had an impact on medicine when Pare ran out of oil in the middle of a battle. Usually
boiling oil was used to treat soldiers with gunshot wounds but Pare ran out. He had to use
whatever he had at hand which was things like egg yolks and oil of roses. From this he made
a soothing ointment, which actually worked much better than the boiling oil, which caused
pain and a lot of swelling.
Also, Chance helped Pasteur a lot.…read more

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