Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: executions

  • A tale of three doctors

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Early print of an execution by guillotine, as proposed by Dr. Guillotin. Jean-François Janinet, c. 1789–1791. Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris via Wikimedia. Public domain. “How true it is that it is difficult to benefit mankind without some unpleasantness resulting for oneself.” – Dr. Edme-Claude Bourru, giving Dr. Guillotin’s eulogy…

  • Blood is the life

    Saameer Pani Sydney, Australia   The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Giovanni di Paolo. 1455/60. The Art Institute of Chicago. Vampire—the very word itself conjures up images of supernatural creatures who look not unlike you and me, prowl about at night, prey on unsuspecting souls, and sink their fangs into innumerable, hapless victims to…

  • J.I. Guillotin: reformer and humanitarian

    It is a strange quirk of fortune that the name of a reformer and humanitarian who spent his life in the search of social justice should have become associated with a device used to decapitate people. Yet such was the fate of Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin. Trained in his youth as a Jesuit, he then went…