Tag Archives: Joseph-Ignace Guillotin

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 […]

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 […]