Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Medical Journal

  • Thomas Wakley (1795–1862) and The Lancet

    When in April 1820 five members of a radical group plotted to murder the British Prime Minister Lord Liverpool, they were sentenced to be hanged as well as publicly decapitated and dissected. An unknown man wearing a mask appeared in the square and carried out the task with such speed and dexterity that people thought…

  • Ophthalmology in Regency era China: a portrait of Thomas Richardson Colledge by George Chinnery

    Stephen MartinThailand Thomas Richardson Colledge (1797-1879) was an ophthalmic surgeon who practiced in Macao, China, for a quarter of a century in the late Regency era. Colledge’s daughter, Frances Mary Martin (1847-1918) wrote a brief biography of him in 1880.1 It is an absorbing and touching account, and important in relation to an extraordinary medical…

  • COVID-19 and Malta’s Black Plague epidemic of 1813

    Victor Grech Pembroke, Malta   Fisherman. Painting by Victor Grech Malta in the British Empire In the nineteenth century Malta had a population of around 91,000 people and was governed by the British Empire. Despite its small size and absence of natural resources, the island was an important Mediterranean crossroads, with a vital natural harbor…

  • Ferdinand Sauerbruch, father of thoracic surgery

    Annabelle Slingerland Leon Lacquet Leiden, the Netherlands   Ferndinand Sauerbruch at a medical lecture at the University of Zurich, between 1910 and 1917. Source unknown. Accessed via Wikimedia commons. Source Ferdinand Sauerbruch (1875-1951) was one of the most important thoracic surgeons of the first half of the twentieth century, remembered for pioneering a method that…

  • The sanctity of blood: Jehovah’s Witnesses and bloodless medicine

    Margo A. PeytonBaltimore, Maryland, United States Tammy said that her throat looked like that of a bullfrog croaking on an August night. At her local emergency room, her blood pressure was 240/40 mmHg due to profound aortic valve insufficiency complicated by an aortic aneurysm. Her condition necessitated high-risk cardiac surgery, a procedure that carries the…

  • Blood at Maidan – Kyiv, Ukraine 2014

    Olena KaguiRhode Island, United States There was no physical blood present when I stepped onto Maidan Square in Kyiv, Ukraine. Yet signs of it were everywhere. Bullet holes pierced the shields and helmets that memorialized the fallen. Flowers, the color of blood, sat inside the cavern of the helmet. The space, once occupied by a…

  • What it’s about

    Wesley Chou Boston, Massachusetts   At coffee-flecked booths And down corridors, wending A way through the staccato chatter, We guzzle down the details: “empty waiting room” by Julep67. 2006. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0    Oh let me tell you, One fisherman to another, Of fingers turned tassel by a firecracker, Soiled plastic and muffled screams leaking Out a…

  • Norman Bethune’s mobile blood transfusions

    Irving RosenToronto, Ontario, Canada Norman Bethune was born in Ontario’s cottage country in 1895 to missionary parents who influenced him to try to improve conditions for mankind. This resulted in his drive to elaborate grandiose plans that were often unrealized. One important exception was a Spanish sojourn that provided him with a unique opportunity as…

  • The oncologist’s mask

    Prasad Iyer Timah Road, Singapore   H.J. Pollitt: Hypnotized. Frederick H. Evans. Early 20th century. Philadelphia Museum of Art. As a pediatric oncologist I have learned to put on an invisible mask before seeing my patients and their parents. I try to bring them some cheer and keep the enveloping darkness at bay, if only…

  • Me, my father, and the angels

    Hope Atlas Livingston, New Jersey, United States   I’m Home by Jeniffer Guilherme. November 2019. Published with artist’s permission. The handle of the dresser drawer talks to my father while he sits in bed Whenever he likes he can conjure up the face of the dresser drawer with its pointy ears, droopy mouth and metal…