Renaissance - Exam Questions


Exam Question 1

Explain why Harvey is important in the history of medicine. (7)

Harvey is important in the history of medicine because he proved that the heart was a pump.

This is important for two reasons. Firstly, he proved his theory with experiments, which meant that he was able to argue and to show that he was correct. He got detailed diagrams, drawn of his experiences that he published in a book, which was designed to help train doctors.

Secondly, this showed that there was a finite amount of blood in the body and that it was not made. Therefore, people could not have too much or too little blood, which disproved the theory of the four humours. However, this did prevent the use of bloodletting as a treatment, so his importance was limited.

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Exam Question 2

Explain why Paré was able to make advances in medicine. (7)

Pare was able to make his advances because he was an individual genius  who was happy to experiment and to take risks. When he ran out of oil, he realised that he had to do something and remembered that the Romans used ointments to treat similer wounds. He therefore used his own ointments, which took nerve and self-confidence.

The Renaissance helped with this too because Paré was working at a time when many other people like Vesalius were taking a risk and challenging new ideas; this meant that Paré was not alone.

Additionally, it was war time so there were people who needed these sorts of treatments and he could prove that his theories worked on real people. 

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Exam Question 3

'Velsalius is more important than Harvey in the History of Medicine' How far do you agree with this statement. (8)

I agree with this statement to an extent. Vesalius was important in the history of medicine bacause he proved Galen wrong in his work on anatomy. He did this by dissecting humans, observing what he saw, making detailed diagrams and publishing his work in a book. This meant that for the first time the work of ancient doctors, like Galen, was proved wrong and the Church had to accept that their ideas may not be correct.

Harvey was important because he proved that the heart was a pump. He did this by experimenting on people, making careful drawings and teaching other doctors about his findings. When people knew that the heart was a pump they finally had to agree that the theory of the four humours could not work because blood was not made but pumped around the body and so there could not be too much blood. 

It is difficult to say which is more important in the history of medicine. At the time,both  Vesalius and Harvey made little impact on the day-to-day treatments of illness and it took time for their ideas to be accepted. In the long term, I think that it was Vesalius who is more important because he got people thinking that the Ancient ideas were not always correct by proving Galen wrong. Harvey built on this by experimenting.

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