The Christian Contribution to Medicine

Ampule and syringe.Stories of Christian caring had enormous impact, even before Constantine’s decree of toleration. Clement, a Christian leader in Rome at the end of the first century of the Christian era, records how the Christian community was already doing much to relieve the plight of poor widows. In the second century when plague hit the City of Carthage, pagan households threw sufferers onto the streets. The entire Christian community, personally led by their bishop, responded. They were seen on the streets, offering comfort and taking them into their own homes to be cared for. A few decades after Constantine, Julian, who came to power in AD 355, was the last Roman Emperor to try to re-institute paganism. In his Apology, Julian said that if the old religion wanted to succeed, it would need to care for people even better than the way Christians cared.

Christians have consistently raised the social status of the weak, sick and handicapped and sought to love and care for them to the utmost of their abilities. Christians have been pioneers among hospital building and staffing, in research and ethics, in promoting increased standards of care, and in immunology, public health and preventative medicine. They have carried Western Medicine across the globe and improved the quality of life for countless millions of people.

Read more: http://www.cmf.org.uk/publications/content.asp?context=article&id=827

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