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Home >> Spiritual Leaders  >> The doctor who chose humanity over life
 
why do we sacrifice for others

The doctor who chose humanity over life

It was the 4 November 1847, a servant entered the room of his master, a Scottish doctor, to find him lying face-down on the floor alongside two of his colleagues. They appeared to have rolled down from their chairs. The servant thought that perhaps they had drunk too heavily, so he covered them up and quietly went away.

But the facts were quite different. For the men lying unconscious on the floor were Sir James Simpson and his two assistants who had inhaled chloroform for the first time ever in order to experience its effects on the human body.

Simpson was the youngest son of a poor baker. At the age of four, he began his education at a village school. As time went on he became so greatly interested in his studies that his father and six brothers agreed that sacrifices must be made for him, so they cut down on their expenses and sent the boy to the city for higher education. So he came to Edinburgh University, where he acquired an MD Degree, the highest degree in medicine in those days, thus making himself worthy of his family’s sacrifice.

He con­tinued his research and, by experimenting upon himself, he proved that chloroform could successfully induce harmless anesthesia.


During his studies Dr Simpson had learnt that chloroform posses­sed certain properties which temporarily benumbed the senses, so he began to conduct research into it, finally coming to the conclusion that if the patients were rendered unconscious by means of chloroform they could be relieved of severe pain in the course of operations. He con­tinued his research and, by experimenting upon himself, he proved that chloroform could successfully induce harmless anesthesia. This son of a poor baker was thus able to give to humanity, in the words of Dr Brown, “one of God’s best gifts to his suffering children.”

The secret of the western nations’ leadership of the world can be explained by the existence of such people who have the courage to risk their own lives so that others may be saved from risk—who have the courage, in other words, to sacrifice themselves for humanity.

 

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