Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: stones

  • The three contraries of Benjamin Franklin: “the gout, the stone and not yet master of all my passions”

    James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Fig 1: Portrait of Benjamin Franklin. From a carbonic alloy engraving, drawn by C. N. Cochin 1777, engraved by A.H. Richie. Public Domain. Via Wikimedia  On May 23, 1785, Benjamin Franklin wrote from Passy on the outskirts of Paris to George Whatley that “at Fourscore the three…

  • Bloodletting with leeches: More dangerous than meeting Dracula

    S. Sabrina Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan Since time immemorial physicians have treated patients by removing various amounts of blood from the circulatory system. For this purpose they used objects that could cut the skin, such as sharpened pieces of wood, stones, teeth of wild animals, or even the feathers of birds. These tools changed over time, and…

  • Looking back 175 years

    Biji T. KurienOklahoma, USA It was a time when surgery was performed in the raw. Obviously a horrendous nightmare for both patient and surgeon, it was performed only in do-or-die situations. The odor of pus in various stages of decomposition pervaded hospitals. Deaths from various diseases and surgery were common. Treatment of ailments with mercury…