Modern medicine in the 17th century
In the 16th century, the revolution took place in Netherland, resulting in an independent bourgeois country, the Netherlands; In the 17th century, Britain overthrew the autocratic monarchy and established the bourgeois parliamentary system. In order to develop industry and commerce, the emerging bourgeoisie supports science and technology and advocates tolerance, all of which play a progressive role. In philosophy, bacon put forward empiricism, advocated observation and experiment, advocated that all knowledge comes from experience, and advocated induction; His famous saying “knowledge is power” inspired the exploration enthusiasm of future generations.
Descartes is the representative of rationalism. He attaches importance to people’s thinking ability. At the same time, he applies the viewpoint of mechanism to the study of physiological problems, which has a great impact on the life science of later generations. During this period, there were also some scientific associations, which promoted exchanges and scientific progress. In the 17th century, British science was in a leading position.
① Advances in physiology. In the 17th century, the concept of measurement has become very popular. St. torio (1561 ~ 1636) was the first to use measurement in the medical world. He made a thermometer and a pulse meter. It also made a large scale like a cabin, in which you can live, sleep, exercise and eat; Before and after excretion, he weighed himself and went on for more than 30 years. He found that the weight was also losing when it was not excreted, and believed that the reason was “imperceptible sweating”. This is arguably the earliest metabolic study.
The application of experiment and measurement makes the life science step into the scientific track. It is marked by the discovery of blood circulation.
S. Harvey (1578 ~ 1657) also graduated from Padua University. Before him, anatomists at Padua University had discovered and explained the links of cardiac blood circulation. In 1553, the Spanish scholar M. celvette (1511 ~ 1553) confirmed that blood flows from the right ventricle to the left ventricle, not through the hole on the septum, but through the lung for a “long and wonderful detour”.
Harvey first used the experimental method of vivisection to directly observe the activities of animals in scientific research. At the same time, he also accurately calculated the amount of blood flowing from the left ventricle into the common artery and from the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery.
He analyzed that the blood could never come from diet or stay in the body tissue. He concluded that the blood sprayed into the artery from the left ventricle must be the blood returning to the right ventricle from the vein. In this way, the blood circulation is found. Harvey published his book on heart movement in 1628.
② Application of microscope. With the rise of experiments, many scientific instruments appeared, and the microscope appeared in the early 17th century. Microscope brings people to a new level of understanding. Since then, scientists have made a series of important discoveries using the microscope.
Italian M. marbici (1628 ~ 1694) observed animal tissues and found capillaries. He also observed the microstructure of spleen, kidney and other tissues. Dutch amateur scientist A. van Leeuwenhoek (1632 ~ 1723) also made many microscopic observations, and first saw sperm and blood cells.
When he observed the tail of tadpole, he found that blood cells flowed through capillaries. His and marpiki’s observations fill the gap left by Harvey in the theory of blood circulation and explain how blood enters the vein from the artery. However, microscopic observation in the 17th century was not in-depth, and the real human histology developed only in the 19th century.
③ Three schools of medicine. In the 17th century, physics, chemistry and biology made progress. Medical scientists were not satisfied with the past medical theories, and some new theories appeared. There are three main factions. One is the school of physics, which is represented by Descartes, the aforementioned medical mechanist, philosopher and mathematician. His physiological works published in 1662 advocated that all pain and terror were mechanical reactions; He believes that man has a soul, and the soul exists in the pineal gland.
The school of chemistry uses chemical principles to explain physiological and pathological phenomena, represented by the Dutch f. Silvius (1614 ~ 1672). He was devoted to the study of salts. He believes that the three elements of the body are Mercury, salt and sulfur; “Enzyme” plays an important role in life activities and physiological functions.
He is a believer in Galen’s theory. He believes that the occurrence of the disease is caused by the imbalance between acidity and alkalinity, so its treatment also focuses on balancing the relationship between the two. This school was a powerful school in medicine at that time. Their research on saliva, pancreatic juice and bile made a certain contribution to physiology. They believe that blood is the center and all pathological processes are produced by blood. All diseases are explained and treated by chemical principles.
Another representative of British chemistry school, T. Willis of Oxford University (1621 ~ 1675), paid attention to clinical observation. In the west, he was the first diabetic patient to know that urine was sweet (1670), so diabetes was also known as Willis’s disease. He described what is now called myasthenia gravis (1671), and described and named puerperal fever and cerebral basilar artery ring.
Another school is called the vitality school, which holds that life phenomena cannot be controlled by physics or chemistry. Life phenomena are maintained by the unique vitality of life, that is, anima. The representative of this school is G.E. Starr (1660 ~ 1734) , he believed that the cause of disease was the decrease of vitality, and its disappearance was death. This school was more popular in the 18th century.
Although these three schools began in the 17th century, they had a great influence. They could still be found in various schools until the 20th century.
④ Clinical medicine and t. West Denham (1624 ~ 1689). Internal medicine did not make much progress until the 17th century. Medical technology was similar to that in the middle ages, and the four body fluid theory was still the basis of disease theory. At that time, doctors mostly studied anatomy and physiology and seemed to forget their responsibilities, so t. West Denham, a clinical physician in the 17th century, pointed out: “What is most directly related to doctors is neither anatomy practice nor physiology experiment.
It is patients suffering from diseases. Therefore, the task of doctors should first correctly explore the essence of pain, that is, they should observe more patients with the same disease, and then study anatomy, physiology and other knowledge to derive the explanation and treatment of diseases.” At the same time, he supported Hippocrates’s idea of “natural healing power”, which not only showed that the clinical science was still very backward at that time, but also showed that he attached importance to human disease resistance.