The powerlessness of medicine
The medical profession is one of the three oldest. And if the representatives of the first oldest profession the society always paid in specie, our ancestor had to endure a lot. From the friendly slap on the hairy shoulder, when he successfully pulled out a splinter of hairy shoulder, or a generous reward from those who are richer, to exile from the tribe, and then the stone on the neck and the deep pit of the dungeon, the scaffold, or the hot fire, when the patient or his relatives remained unsatisfied.
For Millennium the history of doctor caused and causes to different feelings of fellow citizens and, what is especially dangerous, “the great” of this world. The mixed feelings felt by the citizens to medicine, reflected in the medieval definition of medical triftontes (three-faced). The townsfolk believed that “…the doctor has three faces: a decent man in everyday life, an angel at the bedside and the devil, when he requested the fee”. Oh, how I only liked man in the street loves to pay, the more the doctors! Therefore, the physicians have adapted. Is not this cynical “Exide dum dolor est”? So. Any action always begets reaction.
Whatever it was, but where it comes to health and life, there and control. Therefore, the control of the society for medical activity has always existed, at all stages of evolution, when all socio-economic formations, except maybe the humanoid pervobytnye.
Medicine passed a difficult and thorny path. Representatives gomennasai profession was always to blame. Often – without guilt. Always obey the “powers that be”. Doctors have become accustomed to it. Each has its own Calvary.
Medical knowledge of ancient peoples were extremely superficial. In the Bible before the era of the kingdoms, even in Palestine until the period of the Exodus of the Jews there is no mention of doctors. Medicine was administered by priests and to some extent, continued his Association with magic. Only the priests had the right to communicate with the ancestral totem, which personified deity, the guardian of the tribe. It is clear that in cases of unsuccessful treatment of those wishing to settle scores with the supernatural was not. The authority and power of doctors, priests were absolute.
Gradually the tribes had migrated, died, and fought… combined. This has led, on the one hand, to megabusty and establishing a hierarchy of the gods, the totem of the winner automatically become senior. On the other hand, if unsuccessful treatment was a real opportunity to settle scores with competitors by debunking their deity, and serving his priests. From the history of known cases where the totem was overthrown burned, drowned, often together with his Keeper.
In the early period of slave society treatment also equated to the action of supernatural forces. The imperfection of knowledge is identified with the intent of the conductor of this force, there was absolute liability of a doctor for the death of the patient, which is largely determined by the status of the patient. If for the death or injury of a slave was usually sufficient to compensate the owner the cost, the unfavorable outcome of a nobleman ended in punishment up to expulsion or the death penalty, which at the time was, in General, one and the same.
Even if the relationship with a deceased patient and his relatives were normal, the doctor’s life was in danger. A doctor can bury together with the patient, in order to provide the latest medical care in the afterlife. Sometimes in this way expressed respect and “sincere gratitude” to the doctor.
In Ancient Egypt the tradition of healing developed in close collaboration with the medicine of Ancient Mesopotamia, who had a great influence on the development of medicine of Ancient Greece, considered to be the forerunner of modern scientific medicine.
For the first time about the existence of medical treatises in Ancient Egypt is mentioned in the records on the wall of the tomb of Wash-Ptah – the chief architect of the king V dynasty Neverko-RA (XXV century BC). Ancient medical treatises were written on papyrus. Until this day they have not survived and their contents known only by copies from later periods. We have heard only third or fourth compilation of the ancient originals.
Just at present we know about 10 basic papyri, fully or partly dealing with the healing. The oldest of them dates back to approximately 1800 BC around the same time and include papyri from Ramesseum. They described the techniques of magical healing. The most complete information about the medicine of Ancient Egypt give two papyrus, dated around 1550 BC — the great medical papyrus G. Ebers and papyrus on surgery E. Smith. Both of papyrus, apparently written by one person and are copies of a more ancient treatise. Egyptologists believe that this ancient papyrus is not preserved, was composed in the early third Millennium BC, deified Imhotep the physician.
Medical practice in Ancient Egypt was governed by stringent requirements and traditions. The transmission of medical knowledge was closely connected with hieroglyphic writing training in special schools at churches. In these places reigned, and strict discipline was corporal punishment. In large towns temples of SAIs and Heliopolis existed high schools, or “House of life”. Along with the medicine they were taught mathematics, architecture, sculpture, astronomy, and the mysteries of magic cults and rituals. “House of life”, in fact, were the forerunners of the universities of subsequent ages. The educated man, and the doctor had to be such as the Egyptians called “knowing things”. There was a certain amount of knowledge, which has enabled the Egyptians to know “who knows the knowledge of him.”
By the end of the existence of Ancient Egypt in the New Kingdom period every doctor belonged to a Collegium of priests. Patients were not contacted directly to the doctor, and to the temple, where they recommended that the doctor of the corresponding specialization. The fee for the treatment were paid to the temple, which contained the doctor.
The authority of the Egyptian doctors was quite high. The rulers of many countries and invited them to the court. Herodotus gave this testimony: “the Persian king Cyrus II the Great asked the Pharaoh to send him Year …the best in whole Egypt eye doctor”. The art of medicine in Egypt is divided so that each doctor cures only one disease. So they have plenty of doctors: some treat the eye, others the head, others the teeth, the stomach, the fourth, fifth internal medicine.
Medical practice in Ancient Egypt was subject to strict rules set out in a “Holy book”. If the treatment was performed in strict accordance with these rules, the doctor risked nothing. Even in the event of death of the patient the doctor was not punished. Violation of the “standards” of the “Holy books” were severely punished, including the sentence the doctor to death. Medical ethics of that time demanded an open message to the patient of the intended treatment outcome one of three phrases – “It’s a disease that I can cure; it’s a disease that I may be able to cure; a disease that I cannot cure”.