This chapter recounts the emergence of orthodox medicine. Medical care and medical education emerged as a scientific enterprise in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, with the help of the advances in germ theory, anti-septic techniques, hygiene, anesthesia, and surgery. By the turn of the twentieth century, orthodox medicine succeeded in eliminating a number of unconventional therapies, challenging philosophy-based practices through “evidence-based medicine” (EBM). Biomedicine treated disease as a biochemical phenomenon that could be classified into discrete categories of causation using standardized, objectified, and technologically validated biochemical treatments and mechanisms. This led to the evolution of clinical trials, such as the blind or masked (placebo) assessment; the double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial (RCT); and the so-called Cochrane Collaboration, which incorporated meta-analysis to support RCT's predictions.
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