The story of anesthesia

Many years ago, in England, there was a father-and son pair who were doctors. The father was very famous and innovative, and the son was young and enthusiastic. In those days, there was no concept of anesthesia and whenever a patient was to be operated on, chloroform was given.

The senior doctor did many experiments in this field and developed a medicine, which when injected in the area where the operation was to be done, made only that part numb. There was no need to make the patient unconscious. Today, we call this local anesthesia .

He performed several experiments and was convinced by adding different chemicals that his medicine was effective. But there was one problem. No one would offer himself for the experiment. Without experimenting on a human being, this medicine could not be officially released in the market.

Now, the doctor's son had six fingers on his left hand. One day, he suggested to his father, 'Father, I know your medicine is very good. You inject it to my sixth finger and operate and remove the finger. Anyway, I wanted to get rid of that finger. Let us perform this operation in front of other doctors. No man can stand the pain of surgery without anesthesia. When they look at my face, they will come to know that your medicine has made the area numb and I am not experiencing any pain.'

The suggestion was very good. The father conveyed a message to the members of the Academy of Medical Science, who were the final authority for allowing this medicine to be used in public.

The day of the operation came and several scientists, doctors and other public figures assembled to watch the effect of this miracle injection. The father exhibited his son’s sixth finger, and injected the medicine. He said, ‘Now I will start the operation. You can observe the patient’s face.’

There was a smile on the young man’s face. The operation was performed and was a success. Throughout, the smile remained on the son’s face. Everybody was amazed by what they saw and congratulated the senior doctor for his work.

After they left, the young doctor was dressing his wound. His father had tears in his eyes. He embraced his son and started sobbing uncontrollably.

‘Sorry, my son, I knew the pain you were undergoing during the operation, you never showed it to the public.’

The injection had to be prepared by adding four chemicals, but in his hurry and tension before the operation, the father forgot to add the fourth. Because of that, the injection was not at all effective. There was uncontrollable pain during the operation. However, the son realized there was something his father had forgotten, if he showed his pain, his father’s experiment would fail. He knew how hard his father had worked to develop this medicine. He himself was aware that it was effective. It was unfortunate that something was not making it work now. In the middle of the operation, the father too realized the fourthe chemical was missing and the medicine was now working. But he was unable to tell this in public. He knew what agony his son was undergoing in spite of the smile on his face. That was why, when everyone left, he broke down crying.

The son consoled his father. ‘Father, don’t worry. For the welfare of others, I controlled my own pain.’

A forwarded email, though, I am not sure how true it is.

I guess you know what the moral of the story is. :)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


  1. Sounds too good too be true. But if it is, hats off to the lil boy!

  2. wow..beautiful story :)
    happy new year

  3. Fiction but funny to read nevertheless. Whats the lesson learnt here Manasa?

  4. Didn't know this! i am not sure whether its true!

    But you know what, most of the medical miracles were first found serrendipitously! :)

  5. Life is all about sacrifices.
    Thanks for sharing the story.

  6. Sometimes bond and love is the greatest medicine against pain :)

  7. ~nm, The boy is courageous.

    vishesh, :)

    Reema, :)

    arvind1187, Thanks.

  8. Final_Transit, You can bear any pain for the loved ones!

    Sakhi , Even I am not sure if its true or not.

    Mampi, Yes, life's all about sacrifices.

    Twisted Elegance....,Yep, it is..!


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