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James Young Simpson

James Young Simpson (1811-1870)

JAMES YOUNG SIMPSON (1811-1870) was born in Bathgate, Scotland. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and received his M.D. degree in 1832. In 1840 he was elected professor of midwifery in the University of Edinburgh. On January 19, 1847, Simpson introduced ether anesthesia into his obstetrical practice, but because of its disagreeable qualities, soon sought a substitute. On November 10, 1847, he read a paper before the Edinburgh Chirurgical Society describing his use of chloroform anesthesia. This method gained great popularity, and Simpson much fame when Queen Victoria received chloroform anesthesia during the birth of her eighth child in 1853.

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