Occidental Medical Times

Author: Washington Ayer  | Date: March, 1896

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Dr. Washington Ayer March, 1896

The Conquest of Pain

[1846]

II

The day arrived; the time appointed was noted on the dial, when the patient was led into the operating-room, and Dr. Warren, with a board of the most eminent surgeons in the State were gathered around the sufferer. All is ready—the stillness oppressive. It had been announced that a test of some preparation was to be made, for which the astonishing claim had been made, that it would render the person operated upon free from pain. Those present were incredulous, and as Dr. Morton had not arrived at the time appointed, and fifteen minutes had passed, Dr. Warren said, with significant meaning:

"I presume he is otherwise engaged."

This was followed with a derisive laugh, and Dr. Warren grasped his knife and was about to proceed with the operation; at that moment Dr. Morton entered a side door, when Dr. Warren turned to him, and in a strong voice said:

"Well, Sir, your patient is ready."

In a few minutes he was ready for the surgeon’s knife, when Dr. Morton said:

"Your patient is ready, Sir."

The operation was for a Congenital tumor on the left side of the neck, extending along the jaw to the maxillary gland and into the mouth, embracing the margin of the tongue. The operation was successful; and when the patient recovered he declared he had suffered no pain.

Dr. Warren then turned to those present and said,

"Gentlemen, this is no humbug."

The conquest of pain had been achieved.

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Chicago: Washington Ayer, Occidental Medical Times, ed. Dr. Washington Ayer in History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, ed. Louis Leo Snyder and Richard B. Morris (Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Co., 1951), Original Sources, accessed June 19, 2024, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XNGW8R561CV4XRE.

MLA: Ayer, Washington. Occidental Medical Times, edited by Dr. Washington Ayer, in History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, edited by Louis Leo Snyder and Richard B. Morris, Harrisburg, Pa., Stackpole Co., 1951, Original Sources. 19 Jun. 2024. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XNGW8R561CV4XRE.

Harvard: Ayer, W, Occidental Medical Times, ed. . cited in 1951, History in the First Person: Eyewitnesses of Great Events: They Saw It Happen, ed. , Stackpole Co., Harrisburg, Pa.. Original Sources, retrieved 19 June 2024, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=XNGW8R561CV4XRE.