Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: UK

  • Book review: Fighting for Life: The Twelve Battles That Made Our NHS, and the Struggle for Its Future

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, UK The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) was born on July 5, 1948, and on the seventy-fifth anniversary of its existence, British journalist and broadcaster Isabel Hardman has produced a book using military analogies to focus on the many political battles and political contests that have shaped its current form. The…

  • A Regency epitaph for a child

    Stephen MartinCounty Durham, UK In some spot where common herbage growsPerchance a violet rears its purple head:Some careful gardener plucks it ere it blowsTo spread and flourish in a nobler bed:Such was thy fate dear child, thy opening suchPre-eminence in early bloom was shown:Too good for earth perhaps or lov’d too much.Heaven saw, and early…

  • The “Ether Controversy”

    JMS PearceHull, England, UK Anesthesia is one of the most humane and effective advances of all medical practices. The name commonly attached to the first general anesthetic, given on 16 October 1846, is that of the dental surgeon William TG Morton, who at the Massachusetts General Hospital successfully demonstrated ether anesthesia (vide infra). The well-known…

  • Quincy—A crusading doctor played by a crusading actor

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden The television series Quincy, or Quincy, M.E. [Medical examiner], aired between 1976 and 1983 in the US. One hundred forty-six episodes of this program were televised. Quincy was originally conceived as a crime drama, with the police helped by the ideas and findings of Dr. Quincy (no first name), a forensic pathologist…

  • Book review: Casanova’s Guide to Medicine

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom The eighteenth-century Italian Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798) is today best remembered for legendary amorous pursuits that resulted in his name becoming a part of the English language. What has been forgotten, however, is that he was a remarkable and erudite polymath. He graduated as a lawyer from the University of Padua…

  • Counseling

    Migel Jayasinghe  England, UK This article was previously published by the author between the years of 2006 and 2018. The original publisher has since been lost and the article edited and republished by Hektoen International staff. Other appearances of this text elsewhere on the internet may be unauthorized.   Hampstead Heath, 1970 by Jo Brocklehurst. The British…

  • Book review: A Place in History: The Biography of John C. Kendrew

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom Remarkable scientific advances in the twentieth century were also crucial for the field of medicine. In the new field of molecular biology, for example, scientists applied the principles of physics and chemistry to elucidate the structure of important proteins and molecules in the human body. John Kendrew was one of…

  • The memorial of Thomas Johnson, eighteenth-century barber surgeon

    Stephen Martin Durham, UK, and Thailand   Fig 1. Monument to Thomas Johnson, Brancepeth. Source: photo © author. Public domain for non-commercial use In the churchyard of St. Brandon in Brancepeth1 village, County Durham, UK, is an unusual headstone monument.2 (Fig 1) Dating to the very last year of the eighteenth century, it has three…

  • Medical and other memories of the Cold War and its Iron Curtain

    Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe Dundee, Scotland, UK In 1946, Winston Churchill named the political barrier appearing between the Soviet bloc and the West the “Iron Curtain.” It lasted until 1991. I met or crossed it several times. The first time was around 1950. The family flew a war-surplus box-kite on Parliament Hill, overlooking Hampstead, London. The reel broke.…

  • William Marsden, surgeon and founder of the Royal Free and Royal Marsden Hospitals, London

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Portrait of William Marsden by Thomas Illidge 1850. Picture in public domain. Source To found one hospital is a fairly unusual achievement; to found two is a rare feat indeed. William Marsden, a nineteenth-century British doctor, founded both the Royal Free Hospital and the Royal Cancer Hospital (now known…