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Medicine is the science and practice of establishing the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences, biomedical research, genetics, and medical technology to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and disease, typically through pharmaceuticals or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints and traction, medical devices, biologics, and ionizing radiation, amongst others.Medicine has been around for thousands of years, during most of which it was an art (an area of skill and knowledge) frequently having connections to the religious and philosophical beliefs of local culture. For example, a medicine man would apply herbs and say prayers for healing, or an ancient philosopher and physician would apply bloodletting according to the theories of humorism. In recent centuries, since the advent of modern science, most medicine has become a combination of art and science (both basic and applied, under the umbrella of medical science). While stitching technique for sutures is an art learned through practice, the knowledge of what happens at the cellular and molecular level in the tissues being stitched arises through science.

Prescientific forms of medicine are now known as traditional medicine and folk medicine, though they do not fall within the modern definition of “medicine” which is based in medical science. Traditional medicine and folk medicine remain commonly used with, or instead of, scientific medicine and are thus called alternative medicine (meaning “[something] other than medicine”, from Latin alter, “other”). For example, evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture is "variable and inconsistent" for any condition, but is generally safe when done by an appropriately trained practitioner. In contrast, alternative treatments outside the bounds not just of scientific medicine, but also outside the bounds of safety and efficacy are termed quackery. Quackery can encompass an array of practices and practitioners, irrespective of whether they are prescientific (traditional medicine and folk medicine) or modern pseudo-scientific, including chiropractic which rejects modern scientific germ theory of disease (instead believing without evidence that human diseases are caused by invisible subluxation of the bones, predominantly of the spine and less so of other bones), with just over half of chiropractors also rejecting the science of immunization.

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  1. P

    QLD Requesting child's medical records

    Not really a family law case but keen to get some advice on how to support stepson who is refusing to go to high school. So partner's son is really struggling with his private school at the moment. We only just discover that son has severe mental health issues which required psychiatric care...
  2. B

    VIC Career pathways from Master of Health and Medical Law

    Hi, I work in health and have a postgrad degree in critical care and am interested in the Master of Health and Medical Law course, just wondering if anyone has completed this course/has information about career prospects/is it a waste of time? I'd be interested in eventually getting into...
  3. C

    NSW medical helicopter bill

    i received a medical bill from a helicopter company in relation to a rescue that occurred when i was over visting in New Zealand, it is a large substantial amount. they are now treating to get debt collectors involved as several mouths have gone by please tell me what i can do to in terms of...
  4. G

    urgent help needed - Mother giving children (2 & 6) non prescribed drugs - family court

    background * family court proceedings are around a year in - * father has been subject to many false allegations of drug use/ mental health issues / family violence. - VRO Gained by lying about these accusations * Magistrates have now deemed father no risk (after 40 supervised visits and a...
  5. B

    VIC RTOs - Discrimination/Privacy breach

    I have a couple of questions regarding a large organisation which incorporates into its operations, a RTO for the purpose of training its own people. Question one: Person with protected condition is removed from training, told they must attend medical review. Cannot participate in any way or...
  6. M

    WA Subpoenaed medical records

    My ex subpoenaed my medical records and the court order states for the past 3 years. Can my exs lawyer use the subpoena to get my records from 7 years prior? Is this allowed?