The short, tragic life of Robert M. Glover
Defalque RJ, Wright AJ.
Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine,
University of Alabama at Birmingham,
619 19th Street South, JT 965, Birmingham,
AL 35249-6810, USA.
Anaesthesia. 2004 Apr;59(4):394-400
ABSTRACTRobert Mortimer Glover (1815-1859) was a contemporary of John Snow and James Young Simpson. Although he did not reach the standing of those two giants, his researches, writings and lectures were important contributions to the early development of British anaesthesia. Glover was the first to explore the physiological action of chloroform in the laboratory and to discover its anaesthetic effect in 1842. He helped Sir John Fife in Hannah Greener's autopsy in January 1848 and influenced Fife's conclusions on the cause of the young girl's death. His numerous and extensive articles reviewing the history, chemistry, pharmacology and clinical applications of various anaesthetics were widely read and quoted by his colleagues, including John Snow. While in Edinburgh and Newcastle, Glover was recognised as a remarkably astute physician, original researcher, prolific writer and enthusiastic lecturer with an enormous knowledge of medicine, the physical sciences, mathematics and philosophy. His brilliant career deteriorated after his arrival in London and, especially, after his return from the Crimea, although he continued to publish until the week before his death. The causes of his decline remain obscure. The last year of his life was ruined by his addiction to chloroform, to whose development he had contributed so much, and which killed him at the early age of 43.QEEG
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