Dr. James Miranda Barry

The Drummer's Revenge

By the time Dr. James Miranda Barry reached Canada in 1858, he was already a legend in medical and military circles.

Barry had a reputation for being a genius as a surgeon. He had performed the first successful Caesarean section by a British doctor — only the sixth known successful Caesarean by a European. He also understood the importance of sanitation long before European medicine realized how infection worked. In an age when bloodletting by leeches and freezing the patient were common cures, Barry was an apostle of scientific medicine. In an era that thought that bathing, fresh air, and fresh food were harmful to the sick, he prescribed these things. The mortality rate dropped instantly in any hospital he was in charge of.

He was also considered a man of high and progressive ideals – he fought tirelessly for the right to medical treatment for women, for blacks, and…

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