Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Hartford Courant

  • “What’s a soul?”: Richard Selzer finds the spirit in the flesh

    Mahala Stripling Fort Worth, Texas, United States   Richard Selzer at the Elizabethan Club, 2004. Photo courtesy James L. Stripling. When he was a child, Dickie Selzer asked his father, “What’s a soul?” Julius replied, “No such thing.” When his inquisitive son pressed him further, he gave this answer: “Oh, a little bag of air,…

  • “Gentlemen! This is no humbug.”

    Summer A. NiaziJack E. RiggsMorgantown, West Virginia, United States The words “Gentlemen! This is no humbug” is one of the most famous statements in the history of medicine.1 They were supposedly uttered by the surgeon John Collins Warren on October 16, 1846, following the first public demonstration of an operation using ether inhalation anesthesia. Yet…