The Fifth World

Encyclopedia

Medicine

Medicine refers to the treatment of disease and injury. Virtually everyone in the Fifth World has a basic knowledge of herbal medicine and first aid. For rarer and more complicated maladies, people turn to wizards. The wizards' strength lies in their understanding of the difference between disease, illness, and sickness. While they usually can do little more than the patients' family members to treat the disease (the biological reality of it), they perform ecstatic rituals that help their patients deal with their illness (the psychological experience of the malady) and the family deal with the sickness (the social context of the malady).