In an era when bloodletting was considered a cure for everything from colds to smallpox, surgeon John Hunter was a medical innovator, an eccentric, and the person to whom anyone who has ever had surgery probably owes his or her life. In this sensational and macabre story, we meet the surgeon who counted not only luminaries Benjamin Franklin, Lord Byron, Adam Smith, and Thomas Gainsborough among his patients but also “resurrection men” among his close acquaintances. A captivating portrait of his ruthless devotion to uncovering the secrets of the human body, and the extraordinary lengths to which he went to do so—including body snatching, performing pioneering medical experiments, and infecting himself with venereal disease—this rich historical narrative at last acknowledges this fascinating man and the debt we owe him today.
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A Commentary on W.Moore's Book "The Knife Man.."
One of the amazing things in life is to find a young farm boy from the Scottish lowlands who hated books and despised reading learn to become a leading anatomist and to reach the highest professional ranks including the prestigious position of the King's Doctor. The road was long and the work was hard and demanding, but thanks to his older brother, William Huntor, the set up established in his residence down in London was ready for John to join him in his small school of anatomy.
John, the wild boy of the Hunter family, was by nature gruff, crude and impatient; he was in fact written off by his mother as a hopeless case. But, hardly twenty, he immediately after joining William proved to be meticulous and hard working. It became clear that he had found his favourite occupation: dissecting carcasses. Initially it was difficult and definitely not for the faint hearted. But that did not bother John. Soon he...
This biography of John Hunter is truly inspiring. I found it as a recommendation on good reads. I was about a third of the way through when I made a trip to London for other reasons. I was able to visit the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons.
Many physicians aspire to be transformative. This is often difficult because they are held back by the prevailing dogma. John Hunter had the perverse luxuryof being dyslexic. This forced him to reevaluate truths by comparing them to his own observations. This led to many insights and he ultimately became the father of scientific surgery with substantial contributions to compare to biology and evolution.
This type of thinking continues to have value today although the weight of dogma has only increased. I highly recommend this book for all those who are looking to change the world.
This extraordinary book is a gift to anyone interest in an engaging story, a reading difficult to stop. Also very appealing to learners because the true-to-life plot traces a lifeline of conquests for the science of medicine. John Hunter, unfortunately little known, did with his dissections what Vesalius left untouched: link the structures with function and disease at a time when there was practically no medical science. In fact surgery developed from the good old common sense of cutting, and sewing. But Hunter moved to experimentation and had the courage and daring to face the immense and backward medical establishment. I learned that one of the champions of medical treatment, Edward Jenner, the inventor of vaccination, was one of his favorite pupils and learned from Hunter how to advance biological knowledge. Thousands of others were also inspired by Hunter's approach to medicine and biology. His immense interest in comparative anatomy led to a spectacular museum of animal and...
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