Medicine could be defined as the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (in technical use often taken to exclude surgery). Or a drug or other preparation for the treatment or prevention of disease.
Advances in modern
was once used only against smallpox, it is now available against large number of
diseases ranging from measles to plague.
been safer and there is a vast new range of pain killers and mild sedative
drugs which calm the nerves and alleviate worry.
transfusions are a matter of course, and some hospitals carry ‘bank’ of blood,
grouped according to the main blood groups so that a patient can always be
given blood of a group that will match his or her own.
Kidney machines are available for some patients whose own kidneys have ceased to filter the impurities from the blood, and who would die within a few days without the help of the machines. ‘Iron lungs’ are used to make breathing possible for the people whose chest muscles have been paralyzed by disease or accident.
Many challenges remain, including the discovery of a safer
and wholly effective remedy for cancer. In some ways scientists and doctors in
the twentieth century may have made too much progress too rapidly, for it now
appears that some of the new drugs are more powerful and more dangerous than
their discoverers realized. But it is true that never before have so many lives
had been saved, and never has life itself been so safe from disease and free
from pain as it can be today.