Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Moral Courage --- this doctor tested on himself first - not on some helpless dying woman ...

First to receive penicillin needle : Henry Dawson, October 15 1940, Columbia Presbyterian medical center, New York

Despite this, Canadian-born (Martin) Henry Dawson wasn't actually a patient.

He was instead the lead investigator of this particular American penicillin research team.

He was merely following an old tradition that says a truly caring doctor doesn't first test a potentially dangerous new therapy upon his patients , but rather upon himself.

It is a tradition that Dawson's main penicillin rival, Australian Howard Florey - entirely in character with his self-serving nature - declined to follow.

Just one of many reasons why Hollywood producers find the idea of a penicillin drama featuring Florey as the lead to be box office poison for the women viewers who form the bulk of the audiences for medical dramas.

Dawson's other penicillin rival, Britain's Alex Fleming , like Florey was consistently unwilling to do anything that might risk his own neck - like fight in the Boer War - and he too never gave himself a needle of his own penicillin to test its safety.

Dawson, by contrast, was a decorated front line war hero and equally heroic in the front lines of peacetime medical laboratories.

The first patient to receive a penicillin needle in an effort to save their life was Charles Aronson, at the same hospital, one day after Dawson survived that very first needle of antibiotics....

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