Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Memory Hole (16 October): Ether anesthesia and the FDA chief keeps his neck

161 years ago today: First demonstration of ether anesthesia

On 16 October 1846 a crowd gathered in the operating theater at Massachusetts General Hospital for the first demonstration of the use of Ether anesthesia by an Dr William Morton. A vascular malformation was removed from the patient's neck.

The surgeon remarked, "Gentlemen, this is no humbug."

Over the following years a feud developed between Morton, Jackson, Wells, and Long over credit and profit from the discovery. Morton died in poverty. Wells became addcted to chloroform, threw acid on a prostitute and died in prison age 33. Jackson, suffered a stroke. Long died at age 62 while administering ether.

Sources: The Unusual History of Ether; Who discovered Ether

Lester Crawford

1 year ago today: Resigned FDA Commissioner pleads guilty to corruption charges

On 16 October 2006 a lawyer said that Lester Crawford disgraced US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner would plead guilty to corruption charges. The US Justice Department charged Crawford with lying and violating conflict-of-interest laws - he had owned stocks in food, beverage and medical device companies he was in charge of regulating. He had also lied about this.

No jail.

He received at $90,000 fine and 50 hours of community service (unlike his Chinese counterpart who was executed - See: China's Food & Drug Chief Sentenced To Death).

See also: Zheng Xiaoyu meet Lester Crawford

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Anonymous said...

Did he SERVE his hours of community service? Probably not. Like Scooter Libby, the Administration in all likelihood felt Mr. Crawford had already been punished too severely . . . after all a $90K fine is SIGNIFICANT punishment for harm (or potential harm) done.

Anonymous said...

Significant punishment (for significant crimes) means being slapped on the wrist with a wet noodle.