Tag Archives: Greeks

Hippocrates, abortion, and cutting for stone

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Two methods of lithotomic position recommended by Sushruta. From Mukhopadhyaya G. The surgical instruments of the Hindus. (vol 2) Calcutta University Press 1914 pp 79 – 80 [public domain] Physicians who take The Oath of Hippocrates swear not to perform abortions or operate for bladder stones: Similarly, […]

What can physicians learn from Benjamin Rush, blood, and the Red Cross?

Ryan Hill Jamestown, Rhode Island, United States   Portrait by Charles Willson Peale, Benjamin Rush, circa 1818. Independence National Historical Park. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. Despite the adamant opposition he encountered from many of his contemporaries, Dr. Benjamin Rush was undeterred; he was certain that bloodletting was the most prudent of all medical procedures and remained […]

Bloody beginnings of hematology

Sherin Jose Chockattu Bengaluru, India Bloodletting in 1860 – one of only three known photographs of the procedure. This photo is from the Burns Archive collection. Source His pole, with pewter basins hung, Black, rotten teeth in order strung, Rang’d cups that in the window stood, Lin’d with red rags, to look like blood, Did […]

Of luxuriant manes and in praise of baldness

Frank Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Voltaire rising from bed (Le Lever du Philosophe de Fer***X), by Jean Huber (1721-1786), after a painting by the same artist. Print acquired by the British Museum in 1861. The feverish imagination of poets has ever eulogized the beauty of feminine hair. The beloved’s hair has […]

Dialogues of comfort

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Roman copy of a bust of Homer, 2nd century AD, British Museum, London. My patient is a veteran physician, quite advanced in years but mentally lucid and fully aware of his condition. His disease is incurable, and he is in need of a chest aspiration for symptomatic relief of his breathlessness. […]