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Localisation and William Macewen`s early brain surgery part I: the controversy

Macmillan, Malcolm 2004, Localisation and William Macewen`s early brain surgery part I: the controversy, Journal of the history of the neurosciences, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 297-325, doi: 10.1080/09647040490881659.

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Title Localisation and William Macewen`s early brain surgery part I: the controversy
Author(s) Macmillan, Malcolm
Journal name Journal of the history of the neurosciences
Volume number 13
Issue number 4
Start page 297
End page 325
Publisher Smith-Gordon
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2004-12
ISSN 0964-704X
1744-5213
Keyword(s) William Macewen
Hughes Bennett
history of brain surgery
cerebral abcess
asepsis/antisepsis
bone grafts
osteotomy
otology
Summary Neurosurgery for the removal of brain tumours based on localising signs is usually dated from the 1884 operation by Bennett and Godlee. However, within weeks of that operation claims were made on behalf of William Macewen, the Glasgow surgeon, to have been the real pioneer of such surgery. According to Macewen's protagonists, he had conducted seven similar operations earlier than Bennett and Godlee and, in a notable 1888 address, Macewen described these seven pre-1884 cases and a number of others operated on after 1884. This paper, which is in two parts, contains an evaluation of the claims made for the priority of Macewen's pre-1884 operations. Part I deals mainly with Macewen's work in fields other than brain surgery that are relevant to it and sets out the facts of the controversy. It begins with a brief biography of Macewen, describes his pioneering work in antiseptic and aseptic surgery, his work on osteotomy and bone regeneration, and his use in brain surgery of the knowledge so gained. Part I concludes with an examination of the battle waged in the newspapers between Macewen's and Bennett's and Godlee's supporters, and of previously unpublished correspondence between Macewen himself, David Ferrier and Hughes Bennett. The primary records of the patients on whom Macewen operated, together with other materials relevant to the controversy, are examined in Part II.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/09647040490881659
Field of Research 110999 Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2004, Taylor & Francis Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002656

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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