The history of medical students using human cadavers for dissection is a long and choppy one (no pun intended). Before Christianity, mutilation and use of human corpses was widespread. It is common knowledge that ancient Egyptians mummified their dead, dissecting and preserving specific organs. After Christianity became a widespread influence, however, the practice of dissecting human cadavers to study was considered taboo.
Humans have been cutting open cadavers and dissecting corpses almost since the beginning of recorded human history. Ancient Egyptians went to great lengths to mummify their dead, including cutting open bodies, dissecting out organs, and preserving remains. Following closely in their footsteps, ancient Greeks also pursued human dissection, in much more of a scientific vein. Rather than an immoral view of desecrating the human body, Greeks thought of human dissection as an extension of the empirical nature of science.
Both psychiatry and psychology have their roots in ancient practices and belief systems, which traced insanity back to the treatment of emotional disorders. Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians, more specifically, believed that all diseases, including mental ones, were the result of demonic influences on the soul.
Up until the beginning of the 1920’s in the United States and contemporarily in many parts of the world, diphtheria has been a leading cause of death in children. Referred to as “the strangling angel of children,” large outbreaks occurred in Europe and in America in the 18th century, and more recently in the 1990’s in Russia and Eastern Europe. In the western frontier of the US in the 19th century, illnesses were common, and epidemics such as cholera, smallpox, and typhoid fever came recurrently. Diphtheria was second only to malaria in taking the lives of young children. The disease was awful, causing pain, swelling of the neck and lymph nodes, and eventually suffocation and death.
- Male Domination and the G-spot
- Is Thinking Bad For Your Brain?
- Current Treatments for Post-Amputation Pain
- Personal Experience in Labeling Borderline Personality Disorder
- Does Language Trigger Visual Memories? – Part 2