You would not be reading this blog were it not for the rapid development of medical science.
It is estimated that in 1900 in Europe and North America well over 10% of infants did not survive their first year. A quarter or more of children never become adults in some parts of the world today. That used to be true for everybody everywhere.
I was born with pyloric stenosis, a weird little medical abnormality which until less than a century ago killed 95% of its victims during the first few months of life. A PS baby suffered a slow and heart-rending death from malnutrition and dehydration causing systems failure. Now, thanks to a simple surgical procedure or a few weeks of medication, more than 99% of pyloric stenosis survive in many countries.
Many of us could say a similar thing about their own congenital condition, or their childhood asthma, appendicitis, or diabetes. The vast majority of us today have never lost a child, and many of us have not even known of a child who died due to a birth defect or illness. But this is a very recent change.
Especially during the past century or so, medical workers including village doctors, university researchers and hospital staff have laboured to extend vastly our understanding of health and sickness, biochemistry and surgery, human care and psychology.
But we humans are fallible and our best work is imperfect.
My interest in the story of my infant surgery has made me very aware of this. A 1001 or more websites and blogs tell us that modern medicine is fantastic… but.
I hope my blogs here will help in a small way to increase the awareness of how the amazing progress of medical knowledge and care can be made even better.