The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

God Given Ideas

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Although most people don't like to admit it, all the best ideas come from God, so why don't we go wild and all ask for one - I could certainly do with a few. The world has been blessed by those who did just that.

We go to hospital for an operation and wake up when it is all over thanks to anaesthetics, but it wasn't always like this. Operations used to be carried out without any anaesthetic and the only relief the patient got was when they passed out due to the pain. This was until a Scottish doctor named James Young Simpson introduced what he called 'artificial sleep'. As a student at Edinburgh University he was attracted to surgery because he was troubled by the pain and mortality rate experienced during operations. He was reading his bible one day and read a passage in Genesis, "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam." This caused Simpson to think about a drug called chloroform, which he knew was sleep inducing and at first he experimented on himself to test out the effect.

Finally in 1847, the first three operations took place using chloroform and one of the patients, a young solider, enjoyed it so much he seized the sponge and inhaled it again, saying, "It was just too good to stop." At first, Simpson encountered opposition, as some said it was a sin to interfere with nature in this way. Simpson countered this by saying, "Hand me my bible" and reading aloud the passage about Adam. But it was an uphill struggle and Simpson made speeches, wrote letters and issued pamphlets, to try and convince those who opposed him, that this was the best way forward for the patients' welfare.

He then suffered another setback when three deaths were reported and attributed to the use of his chloroform during the operations, but Simpson was able to show that they were not applying the anaesthetic correctly. The breakthrough came when Queen Victoria gave birth to her eight child under chloroform and declared that she was, "greatly pleased" with the effect it had on her during her child birth.

Life is one big mystery and it is beautiful because it can't be explained.
The deeper we probe hidden mystical beauties, the more layers we uncover.
Yet sooner or later we will have to accept that there is a divine force at work Which we cannot put our arms around.

Published Mon 30th Sep 2013 09:47:26

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