The Treatment Of Medical Practitioners

902 Words4 Pages
Over the last several centuries, medicine has advanced in many areas. Life expectancy has increased, children are more likely to survive to adulthood, and the chances of dying from diseases has decreased dramatically. People now survive illnesses that just one hundred years ago, would have been a death sentence. But one way that medicine has not advanced, is in the amount of power that patients have in deciding their medical care. Today patients have less ability to control their own medical destiny than they have in previous time periods. During past centuries, there were many different types of medical practitioners. Patients could rely on doctors, midwives, witches, priests, apothecaries, herbalists, and family members to provide care to them. This “ensured that lay people not only had choice but also a sense of independence when it came to how they were to be treated. The patient had more power than today in the patient-doctor relationship” (Wear 239). There are multiple reasons for the lack of control that today 's patients have in their medical destiny. One of the major reasons is that the government now controls what type of medical care that a person can receive. The government controls medical care in many ways, one way is that the government controls what type of drugs a person can ingest. Patients used to be able to decide for themselves what type of drugs to treat their symptoms with. Opium was not only used to receive a pleasurable high, but it was also
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