Medical Advancements Essay

1214 words - 5 pages

Medical advancements have clearly defined Canada as a leader in medicine. The establishment of Medicare, the invention of insulin and the cobalt bomb are all definitive moments in Canada’s history because they all made an ever-lasting impact nationally or internationally.
First off, the establishment of Medicare was a key defining moment in Canadian history. Tommy Douglas strongly believed that every Canadian deserved the right to have quality health care, despite one’s social status. He began establishing Medicare first in Saskatchewan three months after being elected for the CCF premier. At first, the CCF began to provide full-funding for treatment of mental illness, STD’s and cancer. By ...view middle of the document...

The Medical Care Insurance Commission acted quickly and brought doctors from Britain as well as encouraged other parts of Canada and also the United States to help with this emergency. Many local citizen groups created medical clinics and hired doctors to attend them. By mid-July of 1962, doctors were returning to their offices. This strike was a great test to see if Medicare could thrive even with pressure put on it. This was a key defining moment in Canada’s history because it forever made a great impact on medical care in Canada. Today it’s been over 50 years since Medicare had been brought came to be and we are internationally known about this program.
Also, the development of Cobalt-60 radiation, or the cobalt bomb, has made an incredible impact on the treatment of cancer. In late October 1951, Dr. Harold Johns perfected the Cobalt-60 machine and it had immediately increased the cancer survival rate (“Dr. Harold Johns”). For the very first time in history, doctors were able to operate on patients with deep-set tumours without hurting the skin. It was the first major step towards radiation treatment other than X-rays (“Celebrating the first cancer treatment”). The Cobalt-60 was much more powerful than the radium used in therapeutic x-rays, and an entire unit was only $50,000; while the radium for an X-ray would have been $50 million. The survival rate for cervical cancer rose from 25 percent to 75 percent. In the forties, only one in five patients survived for five years after being diagnose, while in 2002 one in two lives at least that long due to the improved treatments of the Cobalt-60. Although there have been many improvements made in radiation therapy technology, the Cobalt-60 is still the main radiotherapy machine, especially in developing countries. This is a key-defining moment for Canada because it completely changed the treatment of cancer for the entire world. This invention is the grandfather to all other radiotherapy technology today, and it has benefitted over 35 million cancer patients worldwide.
Finally, the discovery of insulin is a definitive moment in history because it not only affected Canadians, but also the whole world. On October 31, 1920 Frederick Banting jotted down a note for an idea for experimentation after being inspired by the article written by Moses Batton called "Relation of the Islets of Langerhans to Diabetes with Special Reference to Cases of Pancreatic Lithiasis" (“Discovery of Insulin at University of Toronto”). With his new student assistant Charles Best, Banting had begun experimenting on dogs, in which they collected an extract from the pancreas duct. They called this...

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