Why did the discoveries of the renaissance period have so little impact on medical treatment at that time ? The discoveries of the Renaissance did not make a significant contribution to the improvement of medical treatment for many reasons. The first of these reasons is that the discoveries made during these times were about anatomy – not treatment. Vesuvius dissected bodies in order to prove that many of the works that Galen – the ancient Greek who had formed the basis for modern medical teachings – had produced, were in fact wrong.
Also Harvey who proved that the heart acts as a pump, pumping blood around the body left some of his work unproven for instance the discovery of the capillaries. Both these scientists were also strongly opposed by the church because they could prove Galen wrong and the church believed that Galen was the true say on medicine. The main reason the discoveries of the Renaissance did not make a significant contribution to the improvement of medical treatment was the opposed from the church. Wrought almost a thousand years in the medieval period people where only taught the works of Galen for they lived Galen based this works on the belief of a higher power, I. E. God. So for many years he was the only source of medical knowledge. No one dared oppose the church for the power they held over society until the church lost power medical remained the same. So Harvey and Vesuvius were so strongly opposed because they could both proved Galen wrong, such as Vesuvius proved that Galen was wrong because he proved that we have one Jaw were as Galen believed we had two because his dissection was on apes who have two.
He also proved that the kidneys are the same eight. He was also able to prove the church wrong when they claimed that men had less ribs than woman because in Genesis God removed one of Adams ribs to create Eve. Vesuvius proved his theory’s through public dissection but this also limited his work because people frowned upon the dissection of the dead body. However this works were proved but still shunned due to the churches power. Harvey was able to prove Galen wrong for Galen believed that the blood was made by the liver were as Harvey proved that the heart pumped the same blood around the body.
He faced the name difficulties even when this theory’s were proven therefore limiting there effect on society. Another reason is Harvey could not prove all of this theory such as that there are tiny blood vessels called capillaries which moved blood between the arteries and the veins. Harvey was unable to prove this theory giving people reason to believe that his other theory were wrong. Meaning it was nearly 50 years before teachers at the university of Paris taught Harvey’s ideas instead of Galena. Being unable to prove this theory’s lead to less patients coming to see him for some thought he was mad.