Renaissance Individuals

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  • Created by: Ian
  • Created on: 30-04-08 18:30

Ambroise Pare - Factors

War --- Pare was a war-surgeon, and was alive during many of France's multiple wars. This means that he gained a great understanding in how to treat bullet wounds. It also meant that he gained an expansive knowledge of human anatomy.

Chance --- Pare wasn't happy treating gunshot wounds with boiling oil, but he had no alternative. When he ran out of oil to usde for cauterisation, Pare turned to an old Roman remedy he had read about. This cleaned the wound better than boiling oil, and faster, with almost nil deaths from pain.

Individual --- Pare was adamant that cauterisation shouldn't be used, as it was, in his opinion, inhumane. However, most other doctors and surgeons disagreed and said that it was the best method to treat wounds. Pare stuck to his guns, and eventually other surgeons started using his methods, as they had the best effect and had a lower mortality rate than other methods.

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Ambroise Pare - Importance

Pare re-discovered an old Roman method for treating wounds: an ointment made of Turpentine, Egg Whites and Rose Oil. This led to the better treatment of gunshot wounds, and a general increase in the effectiveness of Renaissance medicine. Also, Pare was the originator of ligatures - he disagreed with cauterisation as a method of sealing blood vessels, and took to tying them closed with ribbons of silk. These later became known as ligatures.

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William Harvey - Factors

Technology --- Better surgical tools allowed Harvey to dissect organs with more precision. This allowed him to keep subjects alive for a short time as he dissected their hearts to see how they worked.

Individual --- Harvey was willing to go against the Church, and its belief that all that Galen said was correct. He also had the natural curiosity that led him to want to discover how the heart worked.

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William Harvey - Importance

Harvey proved Galen was wrong about the heart, and about the use of blood within the body. He proved that the heart was a pump, and pumped blood throughout the body, and that blood was in circulation, and not burnt up and remade as Galen had believed. The significance of this was, at first, only about increasing the sum of knowledge.
However, the long term effects of Harvey's discovery are profound --- without them, we would not be able to carry out heart surgery to repair ailments such as having a hole in the heart, or be able to cure blood poisoning, as we would believe that the toxin would be burnt up with the blood. This means that Harvey's discovery is still used today, and will continue to be used for many more centuries to come.

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Andreas Vesalius - Factors

Education --- Vesalius' university education in Italy was conducted at a time when students were allowed to observe dissections of criminal's bodies. This meant that Vesalius was able to discover more about the anatomy of the human body. It also meant that he was very well-versed in Galen's ideas, which were still in use.

Individual --- Vesalius' intelligence and natural cunning meant that he was able to see holes in Galen's work, and his curious mind meant that he investigated those holes.

Technology --- The printing press allowed Vesalius to spread his book, 'The Fabric of the Human Body', around Europe. This meant that his findings, which proved Galen's ideas wrong, were spread around the world and that many doctors-in-training were using his ideas.


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Andreas Vesalius - Importance

Vesalius proved Galen wrong. Tjhrough his many dissections of humans, Vesalius discovered that the human jawbone was mad of a single bone, which was rounded as opposed to Galen's idea of two bones joined at a point which was based on Galen's dissection of pigs. This showed that Galen wasn't always correct with his findings, and gave other doctorsthe chance to go ahead and make their own conclusions about things, based on the evidence that they gather.

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