Doctors, Health and Quarantine

The Big Question: How did Quarantine in the middle ages tie in with doctors and health? -Tyson

In the middle ages, everybody's life was controlled by their religion. Even spilling water was a sin, and if you forgot to repent that sin in a confession, then it was straight to hell with you. People believed that illness and disease was a punishment from God and nothing could be done to save them and their family. Doctors were a rare breed of person because of this. Since this was a punishment from God, most people were discouraged from becoming a doctor, that the existing doctors had little to no idea what they were doing.

Peasants and lower class citizens would often die from diseases that would enter the body through food that was not cooked properly. Unknown infections would be undetectable at first, but would slowly and painfully kill the person. Another common death in the peasants world would be lack of nutrition. They mostly only ate bread and water, which didn't give them the nutrients that they needed to do the hard labor. They would become exhausted and their bodies would shut down and fall apart.

A major reason that doctors didn't find vary many cures for diseases and only ended up helping people die happy, is because once again, the church wouldn't allow it. The priest would say that the practices were a heretic act in the eyes of god, and would forbid any unapproved medical exploration. Of course doctors still tried to find new ways of helping people, and eventually discovered penicillin.

Many diseases were easy to catch way back when. Diseases that would cover you with black bumps, and others that would slowly rot your body away at a young age. One of the worst was a disease called Leprosy. This particular disease was extremely contagious causing horrible painful lumps on your skin and attacks your nerves. In severe cases, horrible disfigurement would occur, mostly to young children, but wasn't uncommon in adults.
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Doctors aren't the only citizens who helped people. In the middle ages, barbers didn't just cut your hair or shave you. They also were the dentists and they performed minor surgery! Only the barbers knew how to perform a special technique called Bloodletting. Bloodletting is basically just taking an amount of blood from the veins to be analysed for any abnormalities, (so it's an old fashioned blood test.) Although barbers were the ones who performed minor surgery, doctors still did major surgery, but mostly just figured out what the problem was and made medicine. The doctors that made and practiced medicine were call physicians orapothecaries.


"Quarantine" was invented about the same time the Black Death started to kill in Europe. City Leaders would get people to confine infected individuals inside their some by building over doors and windows. Unfortunately, healthy family members would be locked in with them. This was a basic form of quarantine.

At the start of the Plague, officials of Venice, Italy, started forcing ships to dock offshore for 40 days as a way to protect the city from the horrible disease. Although it was originally 30 days, people changed it to 40 to be double sure. If the crew survived the 40 days, they would be aloud to bring the ship to the harbour. Sometimes the crew would throw the infected off the ship, but then got infected themselves. In 1423, the city of Venice set up its first quarantine station on an island of the coast of Italy. Patients were brought there to most likely die.









Works sited:

Everyday life in Medieval Europe, by Kathryn Hinds

Published September 28th 2008 by Marshall Cavendish Benchmark

MiddleAges.org: Black Death and Diseases
http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/black-death.htm

Medieval Information: Health -Healing and doctors, methods, discoveries, and medicine.
http://www.medieval-castles.org/index.php/health_healing_and_doctors_during_the_da

Apple dictionary

Reasons.com: Diseases, public Health and Liberty
http://reason.com/archives/2003/03/19/disease-public-health-and-libe

Labelle.org: Medieval Diseases
http://www.labelle.org/top_diseases.html



The Notes:

-"Quarantine" was invented about the same time the Black Death started to kill in Europe. City Leaders would get people to confine infected iduviduals inside their some by building over doors and windows. Unfortunatly, healthy family members would be locked in with them. This was a basic form of quarantine.

-At the start of the Plauge, officals of Venice, Italy, started forcing ships to dock offshore for 40 days as a way to protect the city from the horrible disease. If the crew survived the 40 days, they would be aloud to bring the ship to the harbour. Sometimes the crew would throw the infected off the ship, but then got infected themselves.

-Interesting fact: Protecting the Majority of a community, (Quarantining) overpowers ones right to freedom.

-Was invented in Venice, Italy, at the peak of the 14th century.

-Original time period for ships to be in the water, 30 days, but was later extented to 40 days.

-1423, the city of Venice set up its first quarantine station on an island of the coast of Italy. Patients were brought there to most likely die.

-Origin: early 14th century. 40 days of solitude. Italy.

Workes sited, April 18th:
http://www.medieval-castles.org/index.php/health_healing_and_doctors_during_the_da

-The plauge started in China, but quarantine was later introduced by European visitors

-Doctors were uncommon because almost everybody believed that every diesese and health issue was caused by God. But of the doctors that were around, almost 78% percent of them and little to no idea what they were doing.

-Famine would be the most common death. Although it was mostly rare and avoidable, people had to be careful about how much food they eat and produce.

-Food was rarely cooked properly which was a common cause of unknown infection.

-Medieval peasants had extremely poor nutrition, because they mostly just ate bread and water. Bread and water did not supply them with the energy and nutrients needed for a health life, and to do the hard labor.

-People often frooze to death in winter.

-The medieval religion and churchs stopped doctors from finding new ways to help and cure people because some practices were "agianst the will of God." After time people still did find new ways of helping people as religion started to die down.

-A disease called leprosy killed millions of people in the middle ages. Leprosy is a contagious diesease that affects the skin, and the nerves causing discoloration and lumps on the skin. In severe cases disfugurement and deformities were not uncommon. Leprosy was believed to to be a punishment from God.