The first activity for this lesson uses the Doctor over Time
and should take about 20 minutes. With your students,
you are going to take a journey back in time. We often
romanticize the past and forget just how tenuous life
was at times, even during the twentieth century.
Tell the students that the class is going to have
three different doctors from three points in time, 1900,
1998, examine them when they have a certain medical problem
and prescribe treatment. As a class, go through the Doctor
over Time activity starting with the 1900’s physician.
Ask the students if they can guess what the ailment described
is before the doctor makes his diagnosis. Can they predict
how each doctor will handle the examination and treatment?
Over the three time periods compare who does the testing
of the specimens, who takes care of the treatments, and how
the cures are.
Now that the students are certain that they do not wish
to go back to the state of medicine as it
was practiced in
1900, ask each of them to generate a list of medicines,
drug therapies, diagnosing equipment, and medical devices
have helped them, their family members, and/or friends
from illnesses or manage a medical condition. Can the students
figure out which of the things on their lists were not
around in the year 1900 or even in 1950? Give the students
10 – 15
minutes to work on this.
As a class, discuss and compare the lists that the students
have made. It’s no
surprise that many modern medicines are called miracle
drugs. Ask the students to further think
about which diseases we still need to find cures for.
So how will we find the new cures? Introduce the idea of clinical trials.
At some point new drugs need to be tested on human beings. How do medical researchers
make sure that a substance or a compound is safe and still be able to explore
new medical territory?
five important safeguards that you think must be in place for
a clinical trial to take place and be both respectful of and
protective of its human subjects.
engagement with this lesson can be gauged by evaluating
the quality of the responses contributed to the class
discussions and the willingness to do the written work
in preparation for the discussions.