The treatment of pain in european culture in respect to changing ethical and meduical knowledge of doctors and patients : (the historical view)
The working hypothesis of this dissertation is that pain is man‘s constant companion and no matter how precise the medical knowledge is, it‘s total elimination is not possible. In this research, different ways of treating pain according to possibilities and restrictions limited by the medical knowledge in different centuries have been shown. The analysis of different ways of pain treatment in the history of European Medicine was done with the use of simple statistical methods (inferential statistics). It has been recognized that opium is the only one pharmacological substance which has been known from the very beginning of human history, and no matter what philosophy or religion dominated, it‘s medical power always succeeded. The approach of using no pharmacological care as well as some methods of natural medicine have been accepted in pain treatment together with pharmacological means throughout the centuries. The studies involved European countries which are supposed to be responsible for creating cultural background and medical development such as: ancient Greece and Rome, modern England, France and Germany. There was an attempt made to compare their achievements with Polish conditions. The problem of palliative sedation in terminally ill patients was evoked. An attempt has been made to evaluate the number of palliative sedation procedures used to alleviate pain in patie ; nts staying in Hospices and Palliative Medicine Wards in Poland. The research has shown that palliative sedation is becoming an adequate response to patients and physicians needs, according to pain treatment in terminally ill people. Source materials and scientific descriptions of European Medical Texts collected in Jagiellonian University Library, in the Medical Library of JU, in the library of St. Lazar Hospice in Kraków and the information available from contemporary and historical medical press together with the findings from questionnaires sent to 45 palliative care centers in Poland were analyzed.