Tag Archives: medical

Traditional and Western Medicine


B2 – Upper intermediate

The World Health Organization estimates that between 65 to 80 percent of the world’s population (over 4 billion people) rely on alternative medicine as their primary form of health care compared to only 10 to 30 percent of people who use conventional medicine.



1. Do you think traditional medicines are tried, tested and safe?
2. What traditional medicine do you know about? Have you tried any?
3. Would you like to try acupuncture? Cupping? Massage?
4. Do you think traditional medicine works?
5. Do you think traditional medicine is just a trend that goes in and out of fashion?
6. What do you think of things like art therapy, music therapy, healing with animals, etc?

Video: The Caring Bear

C1 – Advanced

For kids, going to the hospital can be a terrifying and sometimes boring experience. An interesting innovation from researchers and roboticists may be a good solution- a robot companion.  This robot’s creators aim to know if it can can have therapeutic value for hospitalized children. Can it really alleviate sick children’s anxiety, pain and isolation?

Let’s meet this blue bear who’s making sick kids less blue.

Mitigating Stress, Anxiety and Pain with a Robotic Companion


1. What do you think of “Huggable”? How does a child respond to it?
2. What suggestions did one of the kids give to make it a better robot companion?
3. How else can we make a doctor’s visit less dreadful for children?
4. Did you enjoy hospital visits when you were a kid? How about now?

Euthanasia -Pros and Cons of Mercy Killing

B1 – Intermediate

Euthanasia has always been a controversial topic. It also has other names. It is sometimes called assisted suicide and mercy killing.

Click the link below to know more about euthanasia and its pros and cons.

Euthanasia -Pros and Cons of Mercy Killing


1. Are you in favor of euthanasia?
2. Could euthanasia be used as a means of health care cost containment?
3. Is Euthanasia allowed in your country?

Over-The-Counter Medicine May Shrink Brain

B2 – Upper intermediate

Medicines are supposed to make us feel better and cure any illness a person might have. But sometimes, these medicines may also cause more harm than good. Read the article below to find out more. Share your opinion after reading the text.

Over-the-counter medicine may shrink brain


1. Do you think over-the-counter medicines work?
2. Would you prefer medicines prescribed by a doctor?
3. Would you consider yourself a healthy person?
4. When was the last time you got sick and had to stay in bed?

First Human Head Transplant

B2 – Upper intermediate

Organ transplants have saved many lives. But, an Italian neurosurgeon wants to take a few steps further with his first human head transplant.

Read the article below to learn more about Dr. Canavero and his potential patient.

First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017


1. Is Dr. Sergio Canavero’s idea worth a try?
2. Do you believe that the current technology we have is well- equipped for this attempt?
3. Would you volunteer for a medical experiment for greater and good intentions?

Drug Trial: Man Dies in Hospital


B2 – Upper intermediate

In France, an experimental drug intended to treat mood, anxiety, and movement disorders went shockingly wrong, resulting in the death of one participant and hospitalization of others. Biotrial says correct procedures were followed at every stage of the trial. So what went wrong?

Read the article below to get more information then express your thoughts.

France drug trial: Brain-dead man dies in hospital


1. What’s your take on this issue?
2. When a clinical trial goes wrong, who do you think is to blame?
3. Would you be willing to be tested?
4. Should scientists stick to animal testing?
5. In your opinion, has drug trial safety improved over the years?

Hooked Up to Computers

B2 – Upper intermediate

With so many advancements in the medical field, it is no surprise that doctors and surgeons are able to utilise computers as part of a person’s recovery.

Read the article below to know about Matt Nagel and his operation.

Brains hooked up to computers


1. What is your initial reaction to the story?
2. Will this kind of technology be helpful to a lot of people? Why or why not?
3. Do you think it is possible for this new technology to be available to help a lot of people?

World’s First Bionic Eye

B2 – Upper intermediate

Most of us are born with good eye sight and sadly take it for granted. Read about Ray Flynn and the extraordinary second chance he had to see life in a different light.

Feel free to work on the different activities below the article with your next teacher.

Man gets world’s first bionic eye


1. Talk about and describe some of the medical breakthroughs that you know of.
2. Have you had an operation before?
3. What medical operations do you think should be free to help citizens in your country?

The Ice Bucket Challenge Years After

C1 – Advanced

In the summer of 2014, one guy posted a video of himself pouring a bucket of ice water over his head to support ALS and other causes. Then his friends decided to do it as well. In total, more than 17M people took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Ever wondered what happened to the money the supporters donated? Watch the video then read the article to get an update on the ALS research.

One year later, your ALS Ice Bucket money goes to …


1. What do you know about ALS?
2. What did you think about the Ice Bucket Challenge?
3. If you could support a research or an organization, what would it be?

Pig Hearts Transplanted into Humans


C1 – Advanced

A team of scientists who’ve successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig’s heart into a baboon is hoping someday to do the same procedure for human patients desperately in need of replacement organs.

Read the following article then be prepared to answer some discussion questions.

Pig hearts could be transplanted into humans after baboon success


1. According to the text, what are the risks of xenotransplantation, or transplantation using an animal organ?
2. What are the scientists doing to address these risks?
3. Is it right to alter an animal’s genome for the purpose of using its organs for human patients?