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Medical, Chirurgical, and Anatomical Cases and Experiments; communicated by Dr. Haller (1758)



Medical, Chirurgical and Anatomical Cases and Experiments by Dr. Albrecht von Haller is a collection of medical cases and experiments put together by the Royal-Academy of Sciences at Stockholm in 1758. In additional to reports of interesting medical cases and experiments by various physicians of the time, the book also includes copper plates accompanying some of these accounts, which provide an interesting perspective of the understanding of the medical field at the time. In total, the volume consists of 31 different cases reported to the Royal-Academy of Science at Stockholm and an additional 14 experiments.  The cases range from extraordinary accounts of worms exiting a woman’s ulcer to practical everyday accounts of children suffering from small stature or potential treatments for mental illness. The unique nature of these cases is reminicent of earlier categorizationof the wonders and unexpected works of nature. 

The main author of this text, Dr. Albrecht von Haller, was a Swiss scientist, who is considered by many as the father of experimental physiology and contributed greatly to the medical field with his encyclopedia, Elementa Physiologiae Corporis Humani.[1]The text played the unique role of sharing and circulating medical findings before this became more commonplace in popular journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine in the United States or The Lancet in the UK about a half century later. It is clear tht even at this point the importance of reporting and shairng knowledge of unique medical cases and natures role in the human body was important. This book remains an interesting source and view of early medical case study.

Bibliographic Informaion of the Text: 

Haller, Albrecht von. Medical, Chirurgical and Anatomical Cases and Experiments Communicated by Dr. Haller, and Other Eminent Physicians, to the Royal-Academy of Sciences at Stockholm. Translated from the Swedish Original. Illustrated with Copper Plates. London: printed for A. Linde, P. Davey and B. Law, and J. Staples, 1758.

[1] “Albrecht von Haller | Biography - Swiss Biologist,” Encyclopedia Britannica, accessed April 13, 2015,