The field of medicine has always attracted its share of quacks (江湖医生) and charlatans (庸医) – that is, disreputable (名声不佳的) women and men with little or no medical knowledge who promise quick cures at cheap prices. The reasons why quackery thrives even in modern times are not hard to find.
To begin with, pain seems to be a chronic (长期的) human conditions. A person whose body or mind “hurts” will often pay any amount of money for the promise of relief. Second, even the best medical treatment can not cure all the ills that beset men and women. People who mistrust or dislike the truths that their physicians tell them often turn to more sympathetic ears.
Many people lack the training necessary to evaluate medical claims. Given the choice between (A) a reputable physician who says a cure for cancer will be long, difficult, expensive, and may not work at all, and (b) a salesperson who says that five bottles of a secret formula “snake oil” will cure not only cancer, but tuberculosis, and bad breath as well, some individuals will opt for the bottle of snake oil.
Many “snake oil” remedies are highly laced with alcohol or narcotic drugs. Anyone who drinks them may get so drunk that they drown their pains in the rising tide of pleasant intoxication. Little wonder that it is a popular cure-all for minor aches and hurts! But let there be no misunderstandings. A very few “home remedies” actually work. However, most remedies sold by quacks are not only useless, but often can be harmful to the users as well. (264 words)
Multiple Choice Questions:
1. All of the following are reasons why quacks continue to do business EXCEPT that _____.
A) people are often willing to pay any amount of money for the promise of relief
B) many people are not in a position to evaluate medical claims and diagnoses
C) many “snake oil” remedies will not do harm to the patient, even if they do not actually work
D) quacks, apparently sympathetic, can easily coax patients into believing that they can help them recover
2. According to the passage, the author would probably agree that ________.
A) sometimes people do get some help from charlatans
B) doctors should not lie to their patients
C) quacks and charlatans are motivated by the desire to help mankind
D) only poorly educated people seek quacks’ advice
3. The phrase “opt for” (line 5, paragraph 3) can best be replaced by ________.
B) “decide on”
C) “pick up”
4. According to the author, which of the following is true?
A) Most home remedies are effective
B) “Snake oil” remedies are a popular cure-all for minor aches and pains
C) “Snake oil” remedies can help a patient psychologically, but not physically
D) “Snake oil” remedies are alcohol or narcotic drugs pure and simple
5. Using context clues, we may infer that the word “intoxication” means “the condition of being ________.”