Edexcel A (SNAB) A Level Biology:复习笔记7.4.4 Modern Medicine & Participation in Sports

Modern Medicine & Participation in Sports

Keyhole surgery

  • Sports injuries are a common occurrence since the body is placed under stress when participating in sporting activities
  • Some of these injuries can result in permanent damage, but with the correct treatment it is possible to make a full recovery from sports injuries
  • Advances in medical technology has enabled professional athletes to recover from injuries that previously may have ended their career
  • Keyhole surgery is one example of the medical advances that have been made
    • It is a less invasive procedure as only small incisions are made in the skin
    • A small video camera is inserted into the incision, along with specialised medical instruments with which to perform the surgery
    • There are multiple advantages of keyhole surgery compared to conventional surgery:
      • Less blood loss and scarring of the skin
      • Less pain after surgery and a quicker recovery
      • This leads to a shorter hospital stay and the patient can quickly return to doing normal activities
  • An example of keyhole surgery is fixing a damaged cruciate ligament
    • The cruciate ligaments are found in the middle of the knee and it connects the thigh bone to the lower leg bone
    • The damaged ligament can be removed and replaced by a graft from another tendon in the patient's leg or from a donor's tendon


  • Injuries may sometimes result in people losing or damaging a body part to the extent that they can no longer use it
  • In some cases, a person may be born without certain body parts
  • In both these cases, the missing or damaged body part may be replaced with an artificial version called a prosthesis
    • They may replace entire limbs (e.g. legs or hands) or parts of limbs (e.g. hip or knee joints)
    • Some prostheses may be connected to electronic devices that can 'read' information form the nervous system in order to operate the body part (e.g. hand prostheses enabling the user to move the fingers)
  • Prostheses enables individuals to participate in sport again, even after serious injuries
  • An example of the use of a prosthesis is replacing a damaged knee joint
    • The damaged cartilage and bone is replaced by a metal device on both long bones to create a smooth surface for articulation
    • A plastic spacer is often inserted between the metal ends of the prosthesis to provide cushioning and reduce the impact on the knee
    • The knee prosthesis enables those with serious knee injuries to be more mobile and even participate in low-impact sports

A knee prosthesis can replace a damaged knee joint and provide mobility to a patient

Use of Performance-enhancing Drugs in Sports

  • Drugs that can improve a person's performance in sport or athletic activities are known as performance-enhancing drugs
  • When taken by people participating in competitive sporting events, it will give them an unfair advantage over their opponents
  • There are many different kinds of performance-enhancing drugs that may affect the body in different ways
    • Anabolic steroids which increase muscle size to give the user increased strength, speed and stamina but may lead to organ damage and increased aggression
    • Stimulants which make the used more alert and able to react faster, they will have greater endurance but it may also lead to aggressive behaviour
    • Narcotic analgesics which are very strong painkillers that enables users to maintain their performance despite suffering from injuries
  • Due to the enhanced performance and health risks associated with taking these drugs, they are banned from most competitive sports
  • Random drug tests are performed on athletes and if the results are positive, they may be banned from competing and may lose any medals or awards that they have won in the past

Ethical positions on the use of performance-enhancing drugs

  • There are two groups with opposing views on the use of performance-enhancing drugs
    • Rationalists think there may be times when their use is justified
    • Absolutists think that they are morally wrong and should be banned from all sport

Arguments for the use of performance-enhancing drugs

  • This view is supported by rationalists who believe these drugs should be allowed under certain circumstances
    • Athletes should have the freedom to choose whether they want to deal with the risks of taking these drugs
    • Performance-enhancing drugs may help overcome inequalities in competitive sport, since athletes have do not have access to the same opportunities to improve themselves (e.g. facilities, training equipment or coaches)
    • Competing at a higher level may only be possible for some athletes if they are using performance-enhancing drugs

Arguments against the use of performance-enhancing drugs

  • This view is supported by absolutists who believe these drugs should be banned from all sports and not be taken under any circumstance
    • Many performance-enhancing drugs are illegal
    • These drugs give athletes an unfair advantage over those who do not take them. Performance should be the result of training and hard work only
    • The health risks associated with these drugs are serious, and include a variety of side effects
    • There is the question of whether athletes are fully informed about the health risks involved with taking these drugs