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Other titles in the Rochester Studies in Medical History series:
The Origins of Organ Transplantation: Surgery and Laboratory Science, 1880-1930 (Rochester Studies in Medical History)by Thomas Schlich
Synopses & Reviews
This book investigates a crucial but forgotten episode of medical history. It is the first systematic documentation and analysis of the numerous clinical and experimental transplantations that were carried out in the early period of transplant medicine. In it, Schlich lays open the historical origins of modern transplant surgery, offers a new and original analysis of the conceptual basis of organ transplantation, and examines how this conceptual development can be explained by its specific historical context. This first comprehensive account of the origins of modern transplant medicine analyzes how doctors and scientists between 1880 and 1930 developed the technology and the rationale for performing surgical organ replacement. This development can only be understood in the epistemological and social context of experimentally-oriented university medicine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The book examines how these context conditions formed the basis of both the concept and the practice of organ transplantation, and shows how the idea of organ replacement was gradually developed up to its general recognition by 1900, and how, in the subsequent decades, its clinical application met with formidable obstacles. It analyzes the various attempts at explaining and overcoming these obstacles, including immunological explanations and technologies of immune suppression, and documents the changes in surgical technique and research standards that led to the temporary abandonment of organ transplantation by the 1930s. Thomas Schlich is professor and Canada Research Chair in the History of Medicine at McGill University.
Book News Annotation:
Schlich (history of medicine, McGill University) refutes the common belief that organ transplant was the dream of ancient medical practitioners that was only thwarted by a lack of technology. He states that the concept of organ transplant began in the 1880's. Swiss physician Theodor Kocher discovered that removing the thyroid gland in goiter surgery had serious consequences. He attempted to graft a new one back into his patients, with some success. Thus began a revolution in medical thinking aided by developments in research techniques. This story of the rise of the belief that organ transplant could cure specific conditions considers social and economic conditions, as well as strokes of genius, that changed medicine. The failures of many transplants caused the practice to be abandoned by 1930. However, Schlich points out that, when it resumed in 1945, physicians were able to build on the concepts as well as the experience of Kocher and his colleagues. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A history of the little-known or forgotten academic origins of modern organ transplant surgery.
This book investigates a crucial-but forgotten-episode in the history of medicine. In it, Thomas Schlich systematically documents and analyzes the earliest clinical and experimental organ transplant surgeries. In so doing he lays open the historical origins of modern transplantation, offering a new and original analysis of its conceptual basis within a broader historical context. This first comprehensive account of the birth of modern transplant medicine examines how doctors and scientists between 1880 and 1930 developed the technology and rationale for performing surgical organ replacement within the epistemological and social context of experimental university medicine. The clinical application of organ replacement, however, met with formidable obstacles even as the procedure became more widely recognized. Schlich highlights various attempts to overcome these obstacles, including immunological explanations and new technologies of immune suppression, and documents the changes in surgical technique and research standards that led to the temporary abandonment of organ transplantation by the 1930s. Thomas Schlich is professor and Canada Research Chair in the History of Medicine at McGill University.
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