Great Medical Disasters

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House of Stratus, 2001 - Fiction - 158 pages
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Man's activities have been tainted by disaster ever since the serpent first approached Eve in the garden. And the world of medicine is no exception. In this outrageous and strangely informative book, Richard Gordon explores some of history's more bizarre medical disasters. He creates a catalogue of mishaps including anthrax bombs on Gruinard Island, destroying mosquitoes in Panama, and Mary the cook who, in 1904, inadvertently spread Typhoid across New York State. As the Bible so rightly says, 'He that sinneth before his maker, let him fall into the hands of the physician.'
 

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I searched for this book online after reading a passage that was quoted in a Reddit post. I was more interested in the writing style than topic. But the book is a collection of medical entries and I found that the passage was very short. Unfortunately, once I started reading beyond the quote, I had to start over and couldn't stop. This book of 1st-person described medical disasters is bananas. 

Contents

Triple KnockOut Disastrous surgical enthusiasm
1
Untreasured Island How to beat Hitler with sheep
4
Transatlantic Disaster The West and Red Indian revenge
10
Ironing Out the Bugs in Panama Colonel Gorgas v the US Army
12
Surgical Souvenirs Litigious litter
22
The Green Monkeys Revenge in the Rhineland
24
A Touch of Class Waitingroom disaster
26
Boob Boobs A thing of beauty is a joy for lawyers
27
Luckless Lübeck Vaccine backfires
87
The Decline and Fall of Edward Gibbon Inexpressible embarrassment
91
The SackemUp Men Disaster for Scottish anatomy
93
A Lousy Trick Itching for revenge
99
The Black Death A clerical disaster
100
Everyday Disaster A risk ready reckoner
103
Love Locked In Dubious disaster
106
Suffer the Little Children If politically advantageous
108

Rude Awakening Frozen assets
29
Typhoid Mary Death on a plate
30
Disastrous Motherhood Tales from the Vienna wards
34
Disastrous Habits Tom Browns schooldays
37
Scurvy Treatment Disastrous diet for gallant gentlemen
39
The Emperors Sore Throat Sir Morell Mackenzie and the Kaiser
42
The Tender Trap Delicate disaster
49
Scutari Miss Nightingale v the British Army
50
The Most Unkindest Cut of All Vasectomy vagaries
54
Bitter Victory Spanish flu
57
St Anthonys Fire Bakehouse disaster
60
Beachy Head Preventive medicine breakthrough
62
The King is Dead Not without help
65
Obstetrical Obsession Maternal mutilation
70
Sandwich Disaster Botulism on Loch Maree
72
Breaking It Off Liberated female disaster
76
101 Uses of a Dead Pope Disaster on Judgement Day
77
Doctor Death Nemesis on the down express
80
And so to Bed Devilish disaster
86
Kinky Kinks Corset disaster
111
The Dying Art Hamfisted hangmen
114
Clubland Doctor Disastrous negligence 60 per cent
118
Design for Living Bricks and mortality
119
Terror in the Tucker Australian disaster
121
Cleaner Living Nature adores a vacuum
124
The Reluctant Benefactor Stillbirth at St Marys
127
Rien Ne Va Plus Disastrous French bedside manner
129
The Joy Slightly Impaired of Sex Boswells clap in 1763
130
The Joy Naval Fashion of Sex Disastrous effect of shore leave
138
One in the Eye Celebratory disaster
139
Disastrous Disasters Trop de zèle
141
The Final Diagnosis Still dodgy
143
Greatest Disaster of All Pressing proclivity to procreate
145
Disastrous End
147
Acknowledgements
149
References
151
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About the author (2001)

Richard Gordon is best-known for his hilarious 'Doctor' books and the long-running television series they inspired. Born in 1921, he qualified as a doctor and went on to work as an anaesthetist at the famous St Bartholomew's Hospital, before a spell as a ship's surgeon and then as assistant editor of the British Medical Journal. In 1952, he left medical practice to take up writing full time and embarked upon the 'Doctor' series. Many of these are based on his experiences in the medical profession and are told with the rye wit and candid humour that have become his hallmark. They have proved enduringly successful and have been adapted into both film and TV. His 'Great Medical Mysteries' and 'Great Medical Discoveries' concern the stranger aspects of the medical profession, whilst 'The Private Life' series takes a deeper look at individual figures within their specific medical and historical setting. Clearly an incredibly versatile writer, Gordon will, however, always be best known for his comic tone coupled with remarkable powers of observation inherent in the hilarious 'Doctor' series. 'Mr Gordon is in his way the P G Wodehouse of the general hospitals' - The Daily Telegraph. 'I wish some more solemn novelists had half Mr Gordon's professional skills' - Julian Symonds - Sunday Times

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