Apr 4, 2018
Alexis St. Martin and William
Beaumont have one of the strangest relationships in the history of
medicine -- a young French-Canadian fur trapper with a hole in his
stomach from an errant shotgun blast and the American army
physician who cared for him, and then made his own career by
turning Alexis into a human guinea pig. Through the decades of
their complicated relationship, they’d revolutionize our
understanding of the physiology of the stomach, put American
medicine on the map, and start a conversation about the ethics of
human experimentation that goes on to this day. Plus there’s a new
#AdamAnswers about whether or not your body temperature and fevers
can “run low”. All this and more on the latest episode of Bedside
Rounds, a tiny podcast about fascinating stories in clinical
- Beaumont W. Experiments and Observations of the
Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion. Plattsburgh, NY: FP
- Mackowiak PA et al, “A critical appraisal of
98.6 degrees F, the upper limit of the normal body temperature, and
other legacies of Carl Reinhold August Wunderlich.” JAMA. 1992 Sep
- Mackowiak PA, “Feel the heat: a short history
of body temperature,” BMJ. 2017;359:j5697
- Markel H, “How William Beaumont and Alexis St.
Martin Seized the Moment of Scientific Progress,” JAMA, August 19,
2009—Vol 302, No. 7.
NA and Durham Smith E, “A Debt to Alexis: The Beaumont-St Martin
Story,” Aust NZ J Surg (1991) 67, 534-539.
- Numbers RL, “William Beaumont and the Ethics of
Human Experimentation,” Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 12,
No. 1 (Spring, 1979), pp. 113-135.
- Obermeyer Z et al, Individual differences in
normal body temperature: longitudinal big data analysis of patient
records. BMJ. 2017; 359: j5468.
W, “William Beaumont: A Pioneer American Physiologist,” JAMA Vol
XXXIX No 20, Nov 15, 1902.