A History of Western Medicine

A History of Western Medicine, Medical Progress and Advances


An excerpt from the book titled Slaughter of the Innocent by medical historian Hans Ruesch, CIVITAS Publications, Hartsdale NY, 1979 and 1991, pages 147-200
A summary of how human medicine progressed due to scientific and ethical research and treatment of humans and was often led astray by unscientific methods that contributed to millions of injuries and deaths.
A preface note: Mr Ruesch's contributions to humanity were recognised in two books that recognise history's luminaries. Ruesch is honoured - alongside Orwell, Darwin, Shaw, Plato, Sartre, Aristotle, Keats, Carlyle, Herodotus, Hoyle, Ruskin and Flaubert, amongst others - in the 2002 book Past to Present: Ideas That Changed Our World by Terry and Stuart Hirschberg. That book includes fourteen pages of excerpts from Slaughter. He is also honoured in the 2003 book called Ideas that Changed the World by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto; listed alongside Einstein and Gandhi as inclusions from the 20th century. There are links to some articles about Mr Ruesch below this history of medicine.

A Summary of the Sections Below:
- Hippocrates: Nature heals; Diet, Hygiene & Asepsis
- Galen & Vivisection - Loss of Hygiene & Asepsis; the Descent into 1500+ Years of Plague
- Human Anatomy - Vesalius
- Circulation of the Blood: Harvey & Da Vinci
- The Microscope & Germs: Leeuwenhoek & Spallanzani
- Nutrition & Diet eg. Scurvy and Vitamin C
- Diagnostics: Percussions and Auscultation
- Heart Disease & Digitalis
- Asepsis, Antiseptic Surgery & Iodine
- Quinine and Malaria
- Vaccination & Innoculation
- Surgery: Rediscovery of Methods, Anaesthesia, Hygiene & Asepsis
- Anaesthesia: Conquering Pain
- Rediscovery of Surgical Hygiene & Asepsis: Semmelweis
- Surgical Training
- Blue Babies
- Germ Theory, Vaccines & Other Confusions
- Germ Theory
- Rabies vaccine
- Tuberculosis & the Tuberkulin Disaster
- Cholera
- Diseases that came and went without any vaccination
- Smallpox Vaccination
- Hygiene: The Decline of the Infectious Diseases
- Polio: Salk Vaccine
- Life Expectancy