James Young Simpson

Infobox_Scientist
name = James Young Simpson


caption = James Young Simpson
birth_date = June 7, 1811
birth_place = Bathgate, West Lothian
death_date = death date and age|1870|5|6|1811|6|7
death_place = Edinburgh
occupation = Physician
field =
work_institutions =
alma_mater =
academic_mentor =
known_for = Use of chloroform as anesthetic
prizes =
religion =


footnotes =

Sir James Young Simpson (June 7, 1811 – May 6, 1870) was a Scottish doctor and an important figure in the history of medicine. Simpson discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform and successfully introduced it for general medical use.

Early life

James Simpson was born in Bathgate, West Lothian the youngest of eight children, Thomas, John, Alexander, David, George (died young), George and a sister Mary. His parents were Mary Jarvey (also known as Jarvie) and David Simpson, a baker in Bathgate. James received his initial education at the local school, but because of his obvious abilities his father and brothers (his mother died when he was 9) together paid for a College education and he entered the University of Edinburgh when he was 14 years old. He became a Licentiate in 1830 before graduating in 1832. He was appointed Professor of Midwifery (which would now be called Obstetrics) at the University of Edinburgh and physician to Queen Victoria.

Simpson's name at birth was "James Simpson", as recorded at his baptism on 30th June. It is unknown why he formally adopted the middle name "Young". One theory is that, as a very young professor, he was flaunting his youth in front of his older peers or alternatively that he was known by the affectionate nickname of "Young Simpson" and decided to incorporate it into his name.

Career

Simpson completed his final medical examination at the age of 18 but, as he was so young, had to wait two years before he got his license to practise medicine. It was during this period that he became a Freemason, being initiated in a Lodge in his home town of Bathgate.

Simpson developed an interest in obstetrics, and at the age of 28 was appointed Chair of Midwifery at the University of Edinburgh. He improved the design of obstetric forceps and, like Semmelweis, fought against the contagion of puerperal sepsis. His most noted contribution was the introduction of anesthesia to childbirth.

A free thinker by most accounts, Simpson's intellectual interests ranged from archeology to an almost taboo subject at the time: hermaphroditism. He was a very early advocate of the use of midwives in the hospital environment. Many prominent women also consulted him for their gynaecological problems.

It was his achievements and wide ranging interests that led to his town house at 52 Queen Street, Edinburgh being a gathering point for many members of society, especially intellectual free thinkers. His impish sense of humour got the better of him on at least one of these occasions when he sat a Southern U.S. slave owner next to a freed slave at the dinner table. Since this town house was fairly busy at times, Simpson preferred to keep his wife and children at their country house near Bathgate.

Obstetric anesthesia

Sir Humphry Davy used the first anesthetic in 1799, nitrous oxide laughing gas. J. R. Lister's ether was dismissed as an anesthetic as it irritated the lungs of the patients. In 1847 Simpson discovered the properties of chloroform during an experiment with friends in which he learnt that it could be used to put one to sleep. It was very much up to chance that Simpson survived the chloroform dosage he administered to himself. If he had inhaled too much, subsequently passing away from an overdose, chloroform would have seen this as a dangerous substance. However, if Simpson had inhaled slightly less it would not have put him to sleep. It was his willingness to explore the possibilities of the substance that established his career as a pioneer in the field of medicine.

Simpson first used his anesthetic to help ease the pain during childbirth. Some may have opposed this practice, interpreting it as an act against nature or the will of God. However, A. D. Farr's study has shown that this was a distinctly minority view. [cite journal | author = Farr, A. D. | title = Religious Opposition to Obstetric Anaesthesia: A Myth? | journal = Annals of Science | year = 1983 | volume = 40 | pages = 159 – 177 | url = http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a751222058~db=all] Wider acceptance of Simpson's efforts came when Queen Victoria used chloroform during the delivery of Prince Leopold in 1853. The anesthetist was John Snow.

Full recognition of Simpson's work followed quickly. He was the first man to be knighted by the Scottish Court of the Lord Lyon for services to medicine. "Victo Dolore" (pain conquered) is the inscription of his coat of arms.

Death and memorials

Simpson died at his home in Edinburgh at the age of fifty-eight. A burial spot in Westminster Abbey was offered to his family, but they declined and instead buried him closer to home in Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh. [For a photograph of his gravesite, see cite web | title = Edinburgh connections in a painful world | author = Baskett, T. F. | url = http://www.rcsed.ac.uk/journal/svol3_2/3020008.html | accessdate = 2008-09-29] However, a memorial bust can be found in a niche at Westminster Abbey in London. On the day of Simpson's funeral, a Scottish holiday was declared, including the banks and stock markets, with over 100,000 citizens lining the funeral cortege on its way to the cemetery, while over 1,700 colleagues and business leaders took part in the procession itself.

ee also

* Charles Thomas Jackson
* Crawford Long
* William T. G. Morton
* Horace Wells

References

Further reading

* Citation
id = PMID:15462230
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15462230
last=Baillie
first=T W
publication-date=2004 Aug
year=2004
title=Hans Christian Andersen's visit to James Young Simpson
volume=49
issue=3
periodical=Scottish medical journal
pages=112-3

*Citation
id = PMID:8971309
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8971309
last=Ball
first=C
publication-date=1996 Dec
year=1996
title=James Young Simpson, 1811-1870
volume=24
issue=6
periodical=Anaesthesia and intensive care
pages=639

* Citation
id = PMID:14019913
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14019913
last= Chalmers
first=J A
publication-date=1963 Feb
year=1963
title=James Young SIMPSON and the "suction-tractor"
volume=70
issue=
periodical=The Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology of the British Empire
pages=94-100

* Citation |id = PMID:8885936 |url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8885936
last=Cohen |first=J. |publication-date=1996 Nov
year=1996 |title=Doctor James Young Simpson, Rabbi Abraham De Sola, and Genesis Chapter 3, verse 16
volume=88 |issue=5 |periodical=Obstetrics and gynecology
pages=895-8

*Citation
id = PMID:11978757
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11978757
last=Dunn
first=P M
publication-date=2002 May
year=2002
title=Sir James Young Simpson (1811-1870) and obstetric anaesthesia
volume=86
issue=3
periodical=Arch. Dis. Child. Fetal Neonatal Ed.
pages=F207-9

*Citation
id = PMID:8258804
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8258804
last=Eustace
first=D L
publication-date=1993 Nov
year=1993
title=James Young Simpson: the controversy surrounding the presentation of his Air Tractor (1848-1849)
volume=86
issue=11
periodical=Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
pages=660-3

* Citation
id = PMID:4911888
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4911888
last=Gaskell
first=E
publication-date=1970 May 16
year=1970
title=Three letters by Sir James Young Simpson
volume=2
issue=5706
periodical=British medical journal
pages=414-6

* Gordon, B. Laing: "Sir James Young Simpson & Chloroform 1811-1870" T. Fischer Unwin, London, 1897.

* Citation
id = PMID:4868187
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4868187
last=Gunn
first=A L
publication-date=1968 Mar
year=1968
title=James Young Simpson--the complete gynaecologist
volume=75
issue=3
periodical=The Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology of the British Commonwealth
pages=249-63

* Citation
id = PMID:4914462
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4914462
last=Hill
first=B
publication-date=1970 May
year=1970
title=Towards the conquest of pain: Sir James Y. Simpson, Bt, M.D. (1811-1870)
volume=204
issue=223
periodical=The Practitioner
pages=724-9

* Citation
id = PMID:5341756
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5341756
last=Kellar
first=R J
publication-date=1966 Oct
year=1966
title=Sir James Young Simpson: victo dolore
volume=12
issue=1
periodical=Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
pages=1-13

* Citation
id = PMID:5341755
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5341755
last=Kennedy
first=C
publication-date=1966 Oct
year=1966
title=Sir James Young Simpson--"the splendid ultimate triumph"
volume=12
issue=1
periodical=Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
pages=14-23

* Citation
id = PMID:5329917
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5329917
last=Kennedy
first=C
publication-date=1966 Jun
year=1966
title=Sir James Young Simpson--"the splendid ultimate triumph"
volume=73
issue=3
periodical=The Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology of the British Commonwealth
pages=364-71

* Citation
id = PMID:4577696
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4577696
last=Keys
first=T E
publication-date=
year=
title=Sir James Young Simpson (1811-1870)
volume=52
issue=4
periodical=Anesth. Analg.
pages=562

*Citation
id = PMID:9121187
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9121187
last=Kyle
first=R A
last2=Shampo
first2=M A
publication-date=1997 April
year=1997
title=James Young Simpson and the introduction of chloroform anesthesia in obstetric practice
volume=72
issue=4
periodical=Mayo Clin. Proc.
pages=372

* Citation
id = PMID:7035712
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7035712
last=Matsuki
first=A
publication-date=1981 Oct
year=1981
title= [Recent findings in the history of anesthesiology (15)--James Young Simpson]
volume=30
issue=10
periodical=Masui
pages=1142-6

* Citation
id = PMID:9507600
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9507600
last=McGowan |first=S W
publication-date=1997 Dec
year=1997 |title=Sir James Young Simpson Bart. 150 years on
volume=42 |issue=6
periodical=Scottish medical journal |pages=185-7

* Citation
id = PMID:14035991
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14035991
last= Miller
first=D
publication-date=1962 Feb
year=1962
title=Sir James Young Simpson
volume=69
issue=
periodical=The Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology of the British Empire
pages=142-50

* Citation
id = PMID:13733828
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13733828
last= Peck
first=P
publication-date=1961 Sep 7
year=1961
title=Doctors afield: Sir James Y. Simpson.
volume=265
issue=
periodical=N. Engl. J. Med.
pages=486-7

* Citation
id = PMID:7050008
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7050008
last=Pinkerton
first=J H
publication-date=1982 Jun
year=1982
title=Sir James Young Simpson: Irish influences
volume=75
issue=6
periodical=Irish medical journal
pages=183-7

* Simpson, Myrtle: "Simpson the Obstetrician" Victor Gollancz, London?, 1972.

* Speert H: "Obstetric and Gynecologic Milestones" The MacMillan Company, New York, 1958.

* Citation
id = PMID:9389837
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9389837
id = PMID:9602606
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9602606
last=Rae
first=S M
last2=Wildsmith
first2=J A
publication-date=1997 Sep
year=1997
title=So just who was James "Young" Simpson?
volume=79
issue=3
periodical=British journal of anaesthesia
pages=271-3

* Citation
id = PMID:4567093
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4567093
last=Secher
first=O
publication-date=1972 Nov
year=1972
title=Hans Andersen and James Young Simpson
volume=44
issue=11
periodical=British journal of anaesthesia
pages=1212-6

* Citation
id = PMID:13476274
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13476274
last=Speert
first=H
publication-date=1957 Oct
year=1957
title=Obstetrical-gynecological eponyms: James Young Simpson and his obstetric forceps.
volume=64
issue=5
periodical=The Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology of the British Empire, he is still remembered today for the famous work he completed in his life time
pages=744-9

* Citation
id = PMID:14273091
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14273091
last= Taylor
first=C W
publication-date=1965 Apr
year=1965
title= Lawson Tait -- A Grateful Pupil of James Young Simpson
volume=72
issue=
periodical=The Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology of the British Commonwealth
pages=165-71

* Citation
id = PMID:6986947
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6986947
last=Waserman
first=M
publication-date=1980 Jan 19
year=1980
title=Sir James Y Simpson and London's "conservative and so curiously prejudiced" Dr Ramsbotham
volume=280
issue=6208
periodical=British medical journal
pages=158-61

* Citation
id = PMID:6749456
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6749456
publication-date=1982 Sep
year=1982
title=Classic articles in colonic and rectal surgery. James Young Simpson 1811-1870
volume=25
issue=6
periodical=Dis. Colon Rectum
pages=611-22

*Citation
id = PMID:4912314
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4912314
publication-date=1970 May 9
year=1970
title=James Young Simpson and the conquest of pain
volume=1
issue=19
periodical=Med. J. Aust.
pages=925-6

External links

* [http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/people/famousfirst60.html Overview of Sir James Young Simpson]
* [http://www.rcsed.ac.uk/site/761/default.aspx Papers of Sir James Young Simpson (1811-1870)]
* [http://www.simpsonfamilytree.com Simpson Family Tree]
* [http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/simpson_james.htm Significant Scots entry]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • James Young Simpson — Sir James Young Simpson (* 7. Juni 1811 in Bathgate, Linlithgow, Schottland; † 6. Mai 1870 in Edinburgh) war ein schottischer Arzt. Er war Professor für Geburtshilfe an der Universität von Edinbu …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James Young Simpson — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Simpson. James Young Simpson James Young Simpson (7 juin 1811, Bathgate 6 mai …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sir James Young Simpson — noun Scottish obstetrician and surgeon who pioneered in the use of ether and discovered the anesthetic effects of chloroform (1811 1870) • Syn: ↑Simpson • Instance Hypernyms: ↑doctor, ↑doc, ↑physician, ↑MD, ↑Dr., ↑medico …   Useful english dictionary

  • Simpson,Sir James Young — Simp·son (sĭmpʹsən), Sir James Young. 1811 1870. Scottish physician who pioneered the use of ether and chloroform in obstetrics (1847). * * * …   Universalium

  • Simpson, Sir James Young, 1st Baronet — ▪ British physician born June 7, 1811, Bathgate, Linlithgowshire, Scot. died May 6, 1870, London       Scottish obstetrician who was the first to use chloroform in obstetrics and the first in Britain to use ether.       Simpson was professor of… …   Universalium

  • Simpson, Sir James Young — born June 7, 1811, Bathgate, Linlithgowshire, Scot. died May 6, 1870, London, Eng. Scottish obstetrician. He received his M.D. from the University of Edinburgh, where he became professor of obstetrics. After news of the use of ether in surgery in …   Universalium

  • Simpson, Sir James Young — (7 jun. 1811, Bathgate, Linlithgowshire, Escocia–6 may. 1870, Londres, Inglaterra). Obstetra escocés. Se licenció de médico en la Universidad de Edimburgo, donde llegó a ser profesor de obstetricia. Cuando se supo en Escocia que en Boston se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Simpson, Sir James Young — SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology [br] b. 7 June 1811 Bathgate, Linlithgowshire, Scotland d. 6 May 1870 Edinburgh, Scotland [br] Scottish obstetrician, pioneer of the use of chloroform in labour. [br] The seventh and youngest son of a baker, after …   Biographical history of technology

  • SIMPSON, SIR JAMES YOUNG —    physician, born, the son of a baker, at Bathgate, Linlithgowshire; graduated M.D. at Edinburgh in 1832; was assistant to the professor of Pathology and one of the Presidents of the Royal Medical Society before his election to the chair of… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Simpson (Familienname) — Simpson ist ein Familienname: Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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