The Father Of Modern Surgery
The hospital environment has not always been a place of sterility and extreme cleanliness that is associated with it so readily today. Prior to the work of Joseph Lister, the hospital was a place to go to die, not to be cured. If an individual was able to survive the pain and torture of surgery without anesthesia, a postoperative infection would most certainly be their ultimate demise. Thanks to Joseph Lister, later known as Baron Lister, a hospital is now a place of healing and cleanliness, not one of death and filth.
Lister's Early Life:
Joseph Lister was born to Joseph Jackson Lister and Isabella Harris on April 5, 1827 in Upton, England. Upton was a small village outside of the…show more content…
Lister realized the importance of the work of his ancestors, but was appalled at the fact that outdated material could be learned for hundreds of years.
Lister was lucky to be entering medical school in a time when many important changes were taking place. Medical students were now allowed to dissect human bodies, previously thought to have been grounds for execution and certainly morally apprehensible. The methods by which students learned were also modernized, and the public view of surgeons was being changed. As late as the early to mid-1800's surgeons were not considered worthy of the respect of physicians, and were not permitted by law to practice medicine. As the technology surrounding surgery was enhanced, the surgeons began to gain respect in their own right. The use of ether in surgery as an anesthetic allowed the surgeons to concentrate more on detail and less on speed. Prior to ether, the surgeon's speed was the only way to minimize the pain of the patient. Lister was a very sympathetic person, and strove early in his career to change the previously accepted conceptions of surgery. When Lister began his education surgery had a mortality rate of over 50%. This was accepted by society, but not by Lister. He set out very early to change this problem.
Joseph continued his education and questioned