The use of medicine since a time long forgotten by us has allowed humanity to evolve to its present state. Ancient man learned to use nature to patch wounds he received in his excruciatingly hard life. Even as our ancestors learned these ways, they encountered new strife within their own lives which they needed to overcome. Working by trial and error, they experimented with new herbs and plants and worked out, over many years, how to successfully treat their sick and hurt fellows.
As time moved on and conditions changed, as man evolved and explored his other talents, the now growing number of people on the Earth meant that they were now faced with greater challenges, involving greater risk. As voyages of discovery and wars of conquest took place alongside great feats of human labor, civilizations all over the globe saw that inevitable risk playing upon their people. As voyagers traveled for years to quench their curiosity, the cramped conditions onboard ships and their decade’s long journeys over land meant that they endured much hardship and pain.
The millions who died and countless others wounded in territorial wars over the centuries meant that some mode of care for them would be needed which would be more effective that that already present. Rigorous research was undertaken by scientists to develop new ways to quickly heal people who had contracted ailments and wounds. Yet before the world could realize it, other medical maladies attacked its people; epidemics of gargantuan proportions such as the black plague, malaria and the ‘pox’s among others.
This was a wake-up call. Whereas in the past people sought to cure something when it actually posed a threat, the scientists of the New World, for the past few centuries, strove to develop medical procedures which were based on scenarios and possibilities, not on what had been witnessed or practiced. The World Wars, although riddled with a gut-wrenching aura of death, also saw soldiers being hit square on by bullets and surviving, as doctors though ahead and saved lives.
All through the mid-20th century, new and awe-inspiring research allowed doctors to create cures for the plagues that would have evolved into massacres (Polio and Malaria), whereas the bubonic plague was dealt with after it became a massacre. As old-age was seen to dissipate human functions, transplants and electronic devices were perfected to a point where a life-span could be increased by as much as a decade.
As the knowledge banks of the world’s doctors increased with each passing day, they were quickly able to exercise complicated medical procedures with an ease not seen in previous times and over the years, continuous advancement has allowed for such procedures to be further extrapolated into more effective methods of healing. Research taking place through the late 20th century and early 21st century promises to be more along the lines of bypassing diseases and giving the sick an ability to fend off disease before it even reaches a harmful state.
Stem cell research has told the world to e patient, as further along the line, diseased organs can be simply thrown away and fresh new ones grown in their stead. Even more miraculous is gene therapy, which has been a herald to a bright new era, whose medicines will pluck out defective bacteria such as cancer cells for the very core of the human genetic makeup, DNA, thereby, dissolving any possibility of a recurrence. And most unusual and spine-tingling of all; the fact that the children of tomorrow shall be blessed by being ripped of any defective genes, so that they shall be the purest any have ever seen.
The success of modern medicine can be observed when one views the recent SARS epidemic. That virus had the potential of killing millions, yet the number of people killed reached only into the 3 figure category. As scientist of the world united, and information was exchanged and compared, the great minds of our age found a way to keep the disease at a standstill and made time for the people and governments to take measures against the pandemic.
In the future, medicine will provide a lifestyle to the people that will enable them to be fire-breakers to diseases themselves, while at the same time being an asset to those using it. Today it can be safely said that medicine has made debilitating, un-curable diseases such as cancer and Parkinson’s at least bearable, allowing those who contract them to live, and die, peacefully for in the days to come, our only woe shall be old age.