We have seen them being taught the most stupid of spells, like turn something into another color, or sprout legs on a teapot or things like that... Why don't they teach them basic healing spells? Like how to mend a broken bone or heal a cut. Ok maybe it's strictly on the 7th year for which we know very few things. But remember on HBP where Harry uses the episkew spell he learned from Tonks, it must be fairly easy to do given that he performs it on his first try. So why not teach some spells like this from say 3rd year or so? Or add a health/healing class in general?
Because poor attempts at Healing can make the situation a whole lot worse.
Take Hermione - undoubtedly, a very talented young witch - as a case in point.
Harry wrenched the stopper off the little bottle, Hermione took it and poured three drops of the potion onto the bleeding wound. Greenish smoke billowed upward and when it had cleared, Harry saw that the bleeding had stopped. The wound now looked several days old; new skin stretched over what had just been open flesh.
“Wow,” said Harry.
“It’s all I feel safe doing,” said Hermione shakily. “There are spells that would put him completely right, but I daren’t try in case I do them wrong and cause more damage...He’s lost so much blood already...”
(Deathly Hallows, Chapter 14, The Thief).
Healing is a complex, sensitive and risky branch of magic, requiring patience, subtlety and skill. Letting untrained teenagers attempt spells which may be beyond them in a medical context is definitely not a sound idea.
Note that the Ministry takes a dim view of even trained, adult wizards and witches attempting to conjure up their own antidotes.
The wall behind her was covered in notices and posters saying things like A CLEAN CAULDRON KEEPS POTIONS FROM BECOMING POISONS and ANTIDOTES ARE ANTI-DONTS UNLESS APPROVED BY A QUALIFIED HEALER.
(Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 22, St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries).
After all, as Arindam points out, good Healing seems to require a sound knowledge of a broad range of magical subjects. There may not be much point in teaching students Healing until they have at least mastered the basics of Charms, Potions and Transfiguration.
Adults which have left Hogwarts do occasionally dabble in healing minor injuries. Once they've reached a certain level of proficiency they can perform simple spells out of a textbook.
But when Harry arrived downstairs ten minutes later, fully dressed and carrying his empty breakfast tray, it was to find Hermione sitting at the kitchen table in great agitation, while Mrs. Weasley tried to lessen her resemblance to half a panda.
“It just won’t budge,” Mrs. Weasley was saying anxiously, standing over Hermione with her wand in her hand and a copy of The Healer’s Helpmate open at “Bruises, Cuts, and Abrasions.” “This has always worked before, I just can’t understand it.”
(Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 5, An Excess of Phlegm).
Whilst the more entrepreneurial grown-ups devised their own Healing substances...
“Just dab it on, that bruise’ll be gone within the hour,” said Fred. “We had to find a decent bruise remover. We’re testing most of our products on ourselves.”
(Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6, Draco's Detour).
Hogwarts students, on the other hand, relied on Madame Pomfrey. This ensured that rash decisions by inexperienced youngsters didn't make bad situations worse. As Lockhart's attempted healing of Harry's broken arm shows, the consequences can be regrettable. Hogwarts contained itself to teaching only the theory of magical Healing whilst directing students towards qualified Healers like Madame Pomfrey when practical Healing was required.
Snape reached the front of the class and turned to face them.
“The general standard of this homework was abysmal. Most of you would have failed had this been your examination. I expect to see a great deal more effort for this week’s essay on the various varieties of venom antidotes, or I shall have to start handing out detentions to those dunces who get D’s.”
(Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 15, The Hogwarts High Inquisitor).
Healing is a bit tricky to be taken in as a class subject in itself. Healing as a subject would need Herbology, Potions, DADA/Charms, advanced transfiguration etc. We have seen several potions that can be used for a dreamless sleep or antidotes for poison attacks. We have seen Snape fixing stiches of Draco (HBP).
We can draw a parallel analogy with existing schooling system. We are not taught to be doctors unless we go in to med school.We are taught general topics that can be a base for advanced stream specific learning. There were hospitals in Harry Potter universe like St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, that would mean that there were healer wizards and witches as well. To become a Healer, students must achieve a N.E.W.T. of at least an E in Herbology, Transfiguration, Potions, Charms, and D.A.D.A. (OP Ch 29)
I disagree with the answers about healing being to dangerous for students. Much of the stuff actually taught to them is very dangerous, for example various potions like the Draught of Living Death, human transfiguration, care of magical creatures or apparition. Apparition is a good example that Students are not kept away from dangerous magic with high chances of accidents, you can split youself into parts, how worse could healing magic be? And students are not even in their last year when they learn apparition. No, Hogwarts does not shy away from dangerous subjects.
In the films Luna fixes Harrys nose, without an accident, and claims to have done toes before. Luna is never portraied as a very good witch, not stupid, but nothing like Hermione, and she managed to do some healing magic correctly in her 5th year, so not all of it can be that complicated or dangerous.
Additionally, if you don't want people to do things wrong the easyest way is teaching them to do it right. Mrs Weasly gives evidence that adult withches and wizards try to heal small injuries anyhow.
I suspect several reasons for not teaching healing magic at Hogwarts:
- It builds on several other brances of magic. In the 5th year, when future career options are discussed, it's mentioned that you need N.E.W.T.s with O or E in Potions, Transfiguration, Herbology, Charms and DADA before you could be trained as a Healer for St. Mungos. It seems that you need a good all-around understanding of magic to be able to learn how healing works. There are likely some exceptions to this, like Episkey, but the majority of healing spells could simply be off limits for the average student for most of his time at Hogwarts. I doubt the exceptions would be enough for a subject on it's own. Adding an additional subject in the final year is something that might be avoided due to exam reasons, the students are already busy enough.
- To teach something you need a Teacher/Professor. Maybe there is no qualified wizard or witch available.
- There are many branches of magic which are not tought at Hogwarts. Alchemy is mentioned right in the first book, but I've never read about an Alchemy-class in Hogwarts, same holds for Legilimency and, not counting Snapes attempt to teach Harry (since it was no official class), Occlumency. Before the interview with Trelawney, Dumbledore thought about abandoning Divination. Household charms are never mentioned as being taught. The aim of Hogwarts is not to teach its students everything about magic, but to give them a solid understanding of how magic works in general, healing might be a too specific topic for that. A N.E.W.T.-Level student should be able to work out how healing spells work with a book and recognise, like Hermione did, when a certain spell is beyond his abilities. That pretty much what I expect wizards to do with household charms as well, though they might be a lot easier.
Healing is not that easy. You must be remembering the case with lockhart, what he did with harry's hand.
And maybe you read the books, there in order of pheonix, mrs. weasly said when ginny hurted herself while flying that, "Please leave me. I have already took a life in spite of healing".
So its not that much easy.