Women And Medicine Essay Research Paper a

Women And Medicine Essay, Research Paper

a)???????? Whilst women

weren?t trained in medicine during this time period, their traditional roles as healers and

midwives were still important ones but women only ever performed them. These

roles were mere extensions of their status as housewives as can be seen by the

way the performed such tasks. Women would use their knowledge of herbs to

concoct remedies for the sick and they would record them in recipe books to be

handed down to their children. They would also hand down certain recipes by

word of mouth. Source A supports this in that it shows a lay Sister preparing a

remedy in just such a way. ??????????? With the

advent of a more medicine-aware society, the role of healer shifted into the

hands of merchants and businessman. New drugs coming in from foreign lands,

such as the New World, were handled by these very people and were not available

to women. Source B shows that when it says: ?New and

expensive cures were developed?using the drugs imported?as a result?of trade

between Europe and India, China and the New World?These drugs were handled by

merchants and businessmen, surgeons and apothecaries. They were not easily

available for women to use.?They were obtained by men, handled by men, and sold to men.

The traditional medicine-woman was left with her herbs, which were far less

successful than the new drugs now available on the market. ??????????? It was not

long before women were forced out of their other traditional role, professional

midwifery. In 1620 Peter Chamberlain invented the forceps and put the role of

the midwife firmly in the hands of trained physicians due to the necessity of

some knowledge of anatomy. Naturally, poorer women had no choice to make use of

the services of women midwives but richer women went to the professionals. Of

course, women were banned from studying anatomy due to the fact that no

universities would accept a female student.??????????? The second

significant change was the change in medical theory that happened during this

time period. Since Roman times Galen had always been the foremost authority on

anatomical theory. Nobody had questioned his theories; the Church had forbidden

any challenges to Galen?s work because his theories fitted in with the Church?s

belief in a system ordained by nature. Furthermore, they did not allow

dissections of human beings (the very reason why Galen?s theories were

incorrect) so it was virtually impossible to provide proof that Galen?s

theories were wrong. ??????????? However,

times were changing, as was the Church. They no longer stipulated that no

dissections were allowed of human beings. This opened the door for physicians

such as Versalius, as can be seen in source B:?New ideas about medicine were developed by scholars in

the universities during the Renaissance and Scientific Revolution. These new

ideas were based on the close observation and dissection of the human body.?Vesalius did not set out to disprove Galen; in fact he had

great respect for the man. It took him 12 years to openly admit that Galen was

incorrect in his second edition of his book, ?The Fabric of the Human Body.?

However, the fact remained that he did prove him to be wrong and this changed

dramatically the way people thought about anatomy. This paved the way to cures

that were carefully based on the inner workings of the human body and these

ultimately turned out to be much more successful than the guess work based on

flawed theories that had been the practice for so many years.In conclusion, whilst the first change, the changes in the

roles assumed by women, is still an important part of medical history in this

time period, it didn?t change the use of medicine to better society in a

significant way. The increased interest in the study of anatomy, and the

rewriting of major medical theories, made a drastic change to the remedies used

to treat patients. The study of anatomy was the first step towards the modern

medicine in use today and it kick-started the field of medicine, a field that

had been held previously by amateurs. It was now in the hands of professionals

who ensured that it was developed sufficiently to help other people.b) i)????? William Harvey, an English physician,

pioneered the theory of circulation of the blood. The way the blood

travelled through the body had always baffled researchers

but now Harvey had discovered exactly how it worked. He discovered that blood

circulated the body and was not used up like Galen had theorised previously.

Furthermore, he said that it was pumped round by the heart, not the liver, and it only

moved in one direction. In his book he included numerous diagrams of experiments

that he had performed to prove his theory. One such experiment was one that proved

with no doubt that there were valves in arteries to stop it flowing backwards.

This experiment could be performed by everyone and it was an excellent way of proving

his theories. His other stipulation, that blood was not used up, finally paved the way

to the practice of bloodletting being abandoned. Whilst Harvey?s discovery of the

circulatory system was the result of not only his work but that of Vesalius and others, it was he who

proved all of the theories, brought them all together and, more importantly,

provided the final answer. His work still remains to true to this day and this

makes his contribution to modern medicine one of the greatest.?? ii)????? Perhaps

one of the most important inventions of the Renaissance was the printing press. For the first

time, books could be published quickly and effortlessly, making the age-old practice of laboriously

copying out a book by hand obsolete. This meant that medical pioneers such as

Harvey and Vesalius could have their works published in mass to allow students

to learn from their theories much more easily. ??????????? The

Renaissance also brought a new sense of excitement at the prospect of

travelling. Voyages of discovery brought back exotic new drugs and remedies

that the new field of medicine could make use of. ??????????? Most

important to Harvey was the fascination in highly detailed portrayal of people

and objects in art. This meant that physicians such as Harvey could employ an

artist who could record exactly their experiments with highly detailed diagrams

and sculptures. This greatly aided the sharing of ideas and theories such as

Harvey?s and it ensured that they were understood and supported by others.??????????? As

mentioned above, the printing press played an important part in Harvey?s

success and the printing press was also partly due to the Scientific Revolution

that was happening at the same time. This also ensured that dissections could

be performed to prove his theories and widen his knowledge and the knowledge of

other physicians. Lastly, it meant that he could use experiments as mentioned

above so that people could check his theories and see for themselves that he

was correct. These experiments were often influenced by modern technology, such

as the water pump.??????????? Harvey was

influenced enough by the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution to give him

the perseverance necessary to put his theories forward and show to people that

they were correct. The continuing interest and excitement in medicine also

ensured that he was motivated to continue his studies to better his field.c) i)????? The attitude of society, and particularly

Elizabeth Garrett?s father, towards women doctors at the time was one of

contempt. People felt that women had neither the

intelligence nor the composure to act as good doctors so they went to all lengths to

ensure that they weren?t allowed to become them. ??????????? Elizabeth

Garrett was not the first woman to become a doctor. Elizabeth Blackwell, who

was trained in America, was the truly first woman doctor. Garrett met her in

1859 and was inspired to further her cause. Garrett?s father thought the idea

was disgusting, although he did come round to the idea eventually, and this

only served to spur her on even more. She made her cause much more public and

felt as though she was acting for all women, which can be seen when she says:?I think my work is plain: to go on acting as pioneer to

achieve this. Even though by doing so I spend the best years of my life because

other students will reap the benefit.?In this way she could well be thought of as a pioneer. ??????????? She had the

necessary intelligence to become a doctor but she needed to be accepted by

either the College of Physicians, the College of Surgeons or the Society of

Apothecaries. Both colleges had strict rules stating that they did not accept

any women. However the society?s rules were much more vague and after an

arduous legal battle it was forced to accept her. Unfortunately for other

women, they changed their rules immediately to ensure that no other women could

follow in her footsteps. In 1870 she became a Doctor of medicine. ??????????? The excuses

used against her becoming a doctor were primarily that medicine was a man?s

world and a man?s career, and that the language used in lectures was crude and

therefore unacceptable for women. The fact that this attitude remained at the

time of her protests proved that, despite her not being the first women doctor,

medicine was not yet ready for women doctors. However, she succeeded against

the odds and in the process advertised her cause to the world. This makes her a

true pioneer.ii)????? Elizabeth Garrett felt it was necessary to


tact and show womanliness of manner?

because she was entering into a man?s world and the majority of men were opposed to women doctors. She needed desperately to

show intelligent, thoughtful and, above all, tactful answers. She needed to

show that there was no reason to disallow women to become doctors. Most

importantly, she had to dash claims that she was just a man in women?s shoes by showing

that she could be a woman as well as a doctor, hence her saying, ?show

womanliness of manner?. ??????????? She

realised that time would be needed before change could occur. That is not to

say that she gave up the struggle for equality, she merely tackled the issues

in front of her with tact and in a careful manner. Furthermore, she knew that

it was important that she proved her critics wrong. In order to win people over

she had to prove that women were biologically, psychologically and socially fit

to become doctors.d)???????? In 1914

people thought that the war would be short and the attitude from society

remained unchanged. There were very few women doctors and the general attitude

of men towards women with aspirations in medicine was to ??go

and sit quietly at home?!? However, there were some women doctors

but unfortunately, this attitude still hindered their efforts. As Source D

states:?In 1914?a group led by Dr Elsie Inglis tried to

volunteer. Even though they had raised enough money to set up a field hospital

(a hospital for soldiers near the battlefields of Northern France). They were

told to ?go and sit quietly at home??Needless to say, as the war

continued the country needed more trained doctors. Conscription took most

trained physicians into the field leaving few doctors left back home to

practice for the remaining population. Women were already heavily involved in

nursing ? in fact many nurses were women. Whilst the British Red Cross remained

reluctant to send women doctors into the field, the French Red Cross was much

less so and sent many to practice medicine in Serbia. It must be remembered that it

took, and still does take, 5 to 6 years to qualify as a doctor so it was

important to start training women interested in medicine. More hospitals began

to accept women training to be doctors and so did University College London. ??????????? In

conclusion, the main factor that brought about the change was the severe lack

of trained doctors in Britain, due to the war, but a shift in attitude to

women?s equality also played a small part.e)???????? There is no

doubt that Elizabeth Garrett Anderson played a very important role in the cause

to allow women to train as doctors. Despite not being the first woman to become

a doctor, she was the first to publicise her campaign and the first to get

people to realise that there was no good reason to disallow women from training

as doctors. She knew her cause and was determined to achieve her aim, as she

says herself in Source C: ?I think my work is plain: to go on

acting as pioneer to achieve this.? In this way she could certainly be

called a pioneer. ??????????? World War

I, on the other hand, allowed other women to practice medicine due to the

unexpected length of the war, the number of wounded and the lack of doctors due

to conscription. Conscription also drove down the number of men training as

doctors, particularly after 1916. Around this time there was also a drastic

change in attitudes towards women, particularly in medicine. People were used

to women treating them, mainly due to the war. For two years (and to a lesser

extent the first three years) the doctors and nurses treating the sick and

injured were almost all women. Another reason for the change in attitudes

towards women was the two women?s suffrage organisations that were protesting

around this time. The most well known of these are the suffragettes who began

their famous, more violent, protests in 1910. People were coming to terms with

the fact that women are equal to men.??????????? In

conclusion, I think that the most important influence in the development of

medical training was World War I. Whilst Garrett?s triumphs opened people?s

mind to the prospect of women doctors, it did little to ensure that women were

allowed to actually train to become them. Immediately after she qualified, the

Society of Apothecaries altered its rules to ensure that no woman could join

again. It was World War I that opened the doors of medicine to women. Britain

was forced to admit that it needed women as physicians. Women were returned to

their role as healers, a role that they had held for centuries previously, but

this time as equals. It was only due to the depleting supply of doctors that

universities were forced to admit women to ensure that there were still people

back home who could treat the sick and the wounded. This rise can be seen from

Source E. You can see a massive rise between 1919 and 1920. Considering that it

takes 5 to 6 years to quality to become a doctor, these women must have began

training in around 1914 ? the beginning of World War I.(Words:



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