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# In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker

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In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 04 Sep 2019, 02:44
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In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker, M.D., addressed an enthusiastic audience gathered at a special meeting of the Boston Medical Association. His subject was "the condition and prospects of the hospitals of China." He described his own work at the hospital he had established in the foreign factory district outside the city walls of Canton where he offered free treatment for both rich and poor. At P’u Ai I Yuan (Hospital of Universal Love, as it was known in Chinese) Parker and his colleagues used western surgical techniques as a means to facilitate religious conversion. Medicine, Parker believed, could be the "handmaid of religious truth," and he held regular religious services for his patients.

While he had, at best, modest success attracting converts to Christianity, the hospital had fostered tremendous goodwill among the Chinese. It was a bright spot amid the gloomy period of Western-Chinese tension that led to the outbreak of the Opium Wars between Great Britain and China. Forced to flee Canton because of these rising hostilities, Parker returned to the United States to raise money and interest in his operations. In the spring of 1841, he spoke to many religious societies, a few medical bodies, and even the United States Congress, where he preached to members of the House and Senate and lobbied legislators on the need for diplomatic relations with China.

In his talks, Parker described the state of medical and surgical knowledge--or, rather, scientific ignorance--in China. Despite the surgical feats of legendary ancient doctors such as Hua T’o of the third century A.D., surgery did not develop to any great extent in China. Some accounts attribute this to Confucian precepts about the integrity of the body and proscriptions against any form of mutilation or dismemberment; others emphasize the pharmacological tendencies within traditional Chinese medicine and a preference for moxas and other caustic plasters.

Whatever the cause, it was undoubtedly the case that Parker’s surgical practice tapped into a huge unmet need. Almost as soon as he opened his Ophthalmic Hospital in Canton, as it was known in English, he acquired a reputation as a surgeon of such skill that the hospital quickly became a general hospital. Parker and his small staff handled thousands of cases each year, treating more than fifty thousand cases by the 1850s. His hospital became the model for other medical missions, and Parker and his British colleagues formed the Medical Missionary Society of China to coordinate the efforts of all the western hospitals springing up in the trading ports of Asia. Parker earned his reputation performing operations to remove tumors and cataracts--forms of surgery with relatively good odds of success and ones that could be accomplished quickly, important in an era without anesthetics. Because of the absence of surgery in China, a large number of patients were afflicted with mature tumors (typically five to thirty-five years old) of a size seldom seen in Europe or the United States. Parker was able to help these patients in ways previously thought impossible in China. He has thus been credited with bringing Western medicine to the most populous country on Earth.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. discuss the status of the medical profession in China before the arrival of Peter Parker
B. argue that China could not have gained modern medical knowledge without the influence of Peter Parker
C. demonstrate the need in China before the nineteenth century for outside medical knowledge
D. challenge the predominant view of nineteenth century Chinese medicine
E. examine the circumstances of the introduction of Western medicine to nineteenth century China

2. According to the passage, all of the following are true of Peter Parker EXCEPT

A. He was skilled as a surgeon.
B. He believed that the poor deserved quality medical treatment.
C. He felt disdain for the medical practices of nineteenth century China.
D. He lobbied intensely to bring Western medical knowledge to China.
E. He did not achieve his missionary goals in China.

3. The author mentions Hua T'o in the third paragraph most probably in order to

A. underscore the need for modernization of nineteenth century Chinese medicine
B. trace the history of important figures in Chinese medicine
C. call attention to the lack of leading physicians in nineteenth century China
D. celebrate the historical achievements of Chinese physicians
E. defend Chinese medicine against unfair criticism

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Originally posted by Gnpth on 03 Apr 2015, 01:10.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 04 Sep 2019, 02:44, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (411).
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Re: In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2017, 06:50
1
How is the answer to the second question C? Peter indeed felt bad for the medical practices of nineteenth century.

And where is it mentioned that he did not achieve his missionary goals?
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Re: In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker  [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2017, 10:43
2
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. discuss the status of the medical profession in China before the arrival of Peter Parker -the passage goes much beyond this
B. argue that China could not have gained modern medical knowledge without the influence of Peter Parker - the passage does not make any such claims
C. demonstrate the need in China before the nineteenth century for outside medical knowledge - this is covered in 3rd para
D. challenge the predominant view of nineteenth century Chinese medicine - the view is not challenged
E. examine the circumstances of the introduction of Western medicine to nineteenth century China - Correct - it explains the circumstances

2. According to the passage, all of the following are true of Peter Parker EXCEPT

A. He was skilled as a surgeon - Parker earned his reputation performing operations to remove tumors and cataracts--forms of surgery with relatively good odds of success and ones that could be accomplished quickly
B. He believed that the poor deserved quality medical treatment.- He described his own work at the hospital he had established in the foreign factory district outside the city walls of Canton where he offered free treatment for both rich and poor.
C. He felt disdain for the medical practices of nineteenth century China.- Correct
D. He lobbied intensely to bring Western medical knowledge to China. - In the spring of 1841, he spoke to many religious societies, a few medical bodies, and even the United States Congress, where he preached to members of the House and Senate and lobbied legislators on the need for diplomatic relations with China.
E. He did not achieve his missionary goals in China. - While he had, at best, modest success attracting converts to Christianity,

3. The author mentions Hua T'o in the third paragraph most probably in order to

A. underscore the need for modernization of nineteenth century Chinese medicine- Correct - In his talks, Parker described the state of medical and surgical knowledge--or, rather, scientific ignorance--in China. Despite the surgical feats of legendary ancient doctors such as Hua T’o of the third century A.D., surgery did not develop to any great extent in China.
B. trace the history of important figures in Chinese medicine
C. call attention to the lack of leading physicians in nineteenth century China
D. celebrate the historical achievements of Chinese physicians
E. defend Chinese medicine against unfair criticism

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Re: In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker  [#permalink]

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20 Sep 2017, 18:04
Yogesh_24 wrote:
How is the answer to the second question C? Peter indeed felt bad for the medical practices of nineteenth century.

And where is it mentioned that he did not achieve his missionary goals?

This is an Except question. You need to select an option which is NOT true.
Validity of all other options can be traced from the passage. For E, it is mentioned that "at best, modest success attracting converts to Christianity,"
But it's nowhere mentioned that he felt disdain for the medical practices of nineteenth century China. Though he had felt sad about the same.
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Re: In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker  [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2017, 03:02
4
Gnpth wrote:

In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker, M.D., addressed an enthusiastic audience gathered at a special meeting of the Boston Medical Association. His subject was "the condition and prospects of the hospitals of China." He described his own work at the hospital he had established in the foreign factory district outside the city walls of Canton where he offered free treatment for both rich and poor. At P’u Ai I Yuan (Hospital of Universal Love, as it was known in Chinese) Parker and his colleagues used western surgical techniques as a means to facilitate religious conversion. Medicine, Parker believed, could be the "handmaid of religious truth," and he held regular religious services for his patients.

While he had, at best, modest success attracting converts to Christianity, the hospital had fostered tremendous goodwill among the Chinese. It was a bright spot amid the gloomy period of Western-Chinese tension that led to the outbreak of the Opium Wars between Great Britain and China. Forced to flee Canton because of these rising hostilities, Parker returned to the United States to raise money and interest in his operations. In the spring of 1841, he spoke to many religious societies, a few medical bodies, and even the United States Congress, where he preached to members of the House and Senate and lobbied legislators on the need for diplomatic relations with China.

In his talks, Parker described the state of medical and surgical knowledge--or, rather, scientific ignorance--in China. Despite the surgical feats of legendary ancient doctors such as Hua T’o of the third century A.D., surgery did not develop to any great extent in China. Some accounts attribute this to Confucian precepts about the integrity of the body and proscriptions against any form of mutilation or dismemberment; others emphasize the pharmacological tendencies within traditional Chinese medicine and a preference for moxas and other caustic plasters.

Whatever the cause, it was undoubtedly the case that Parker’s surgical practice tapped into a huge unmet need. Almost as soon as he opened his Ophthalmic Hospital in Canton, as it was known in English, he acquired a reputation as a surgeon of such skill that the hospital quickly became a general hospital. Parker and his small staff handled thousands of cases each year, treating more than fifty thousand cases by the 1850s. His hospital became the model for other medical missions, and Parker and his British colleagues formed the Medical Missionary Society of China to coordinate the efforts of all the western hospitals springing up in the trading ports of Asia. Parker earned his reputation performing operations to remove tumors and cataracts--forms of surgery with relatively good odds of success and ones that could be accomplished quickly, important in an era without anesthetics. Because of the absence of surgery in China, a large number of patients were afflicted with mature tumors (typically five to thirty-five years old) of a size seldom seen in Europe or the United States. Parker was able to help these patients in ways previously thought impossible in China. He has thus been credited with bringing Western medicine to the most populous country on Earth.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. discuss the status of the medical profession in China before the arrival of Peter Parker
B. argue that China could not have gained modern medical knowledge without the influence of Peter Parker
C. demonstrate the need in China before the nineteenth century for outside medical knowledge
D. challenge the predominant view of nineteenth century Chinese medicine
E. examine the circumstances of the introduction of Western medicine to nineteenth century China

2. According to the passage, all of the following are true of Peter Parker EXCEPT

A. He was skilled as a surgeon.
B. He believed that the poor deserved quality medical treatment.
C. He felt disdain for the medical practices of nineteenth century China.
D. He lobbied intensely to bring Western medical knowledge to China.
E. He did not achieve his missionary goals in China.

3. The author mentions Hua T'o in the third paragraph most probably in order to

A. underscore the need for modernization of nineteenth century Chinese medicine
B. trace the history of important figures in Chinese medicine
C. call attention to the lack of leading physicians in nineteenth century China
D. celebrate the historical achievements of Chinese physicians
E. defend Chinese medicine against unfair criticism

I'm not sure about Q2. I think the question itself is debatable as far as the options are concerned.

2. According to the passage, all of the following are true of Peter Parker EXCEPT

A. He was skilled as a surgeon. - It has been mentioned that he was "perceived of great skill".

This doesn't necessarily mean that he ACTUALLY WAS SKILLED. Furthermore, it has been been stated that he performed operations with relatively greater odds for success. In summary, we cannot say for sure whether he was skilled.

B. He believed that the poor deserved quality medical treatment.

This is what I chose. Although there is no denying that he did provide free service, we don't know whether he actually believed that the poor deserved free service. We have two things in the passage that suggest something otherwise - 1) He provided free service to both rich and poor(so nothing special for the poor), and 2) He and his colleagues used western methods in order to facilitate conversion to christianity(this suggests the motive of providing the free service).

C. He felt disdain for the medical practices of nineteenth century China.

It can be argued that "disdain" is too strong a word, but it can be agreed that Peter Parker did not like the state of medicine in China. This is supported by these lines - "In his talks, Parker described the state of medical and surgical knowledge--or, rather, scientific ignorance--in China."

D. He lobbied intensely to bring Western medical knowledge to China.

This is clearly mentioned

E. He did not achieve his missionary goals in China.

This is also clearly mentioned.

My point is that the answer choices are too close, or there are multiple correct options.
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Re: In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker  [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2019, 22:44
what is the source of this passage?

Q1. The answers are not fitting. THe passage clearly revolves around the role that is played by Peter Parker in introducing surgerical practices to the chinese people and how he achieved the feat. None of the options are close to the real purpose of the passage.

How precisely is the word "examine" the circumstances of the introduction of Western medicine to nineteenth century China is valid here. Would appreciate if someone can put some light on this.
Re: In April 1841, medical missionary Reverend Peter Parker   [#permalink] 10 Aug 2019, 22:44
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