Blood and Justice: The 17 Century Parisian Doctor Who Made Blood Transfusion History / Edition 1

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Blood transfusion today is a routine medical procedure. Yet in the 17th century the idea of giving somebody blood rather than blood letting was dangerously unconventional. English pioneers like Robert Boyle, Christopher Wren and Richard Lower had performed a numerous experiments on animals, but nobody except Denis had dared to transfuse blood into a human being.

Denis' idea was both simple and radical. By transfusing the blood of a calm, innocent calf into that of the dissolute and insane Mauroy he would cure him of his madness. The moral dilemma was obvious: Should he leave Mauroy in his misery and resign himself to obscurity or should he attempt to play God and earn his place in history?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…the author has told a fascinating story that is not without contemporary resonance…" (The Sunday Telegraph, 10 November 2002)

"…Dr Pete Moore’s enthralling, closely researched and very peculiar tale of Jean-Baptiste Denis’s attempts at blood transfusion…" (Daily Telegraph, 7 December 2002)

"…a hair-raising chronicle of the kinds of experiments that would never be allowed today…" (Focus, February 2003)

"…Pete Moore's entertaining book describes the people and ideas at the heart of the issue..." (Times Literary Supplement, 24 January 2003)

"…Moore writes in an informed, often amusing way about the bizarre and gory experiments that resulted in today’s medical practices…" (Good Book Guide, February 2003)

"Dr Moore not only tells a good story about past events, he also provides an illustrative case study…" (Nursing Standard, 13 August 2003)

“…Pete Moore has also created a tantalizing tale of mystique and macabre..."  (Medical History, Vol 48 No 4 October 2004)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470848425
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/6/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.65 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Pete Moore is Chairman of the Medical Journalists Association and winner of many awards for his journalism. He is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Bristol and an official rapporteur at Windsor Castle and private meetings at the House of Lords. He completed post doctoral research fellowships with The Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation.

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Table of Contents


Note on sources.


Cast , and people mentioned, in order of appearance.

1 A Vital Fluid.

2 Building on Harvey.

3 English Infusion.

4 Scientific Society.

5 English Transfusions.

6 Denis Route to the Top.

7 Precedence and Prison.

8 Playing Catch-Up.

9 Mauroy Mystery.

10 The Great Debate.

11 Mistake, Malice or Murder?




Further reading.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2004

    A great read

    This book is packed with historical detail of an incredible chain of events in 17th century London and Paris. Its got science, philosophy, history and humour all in one shot. This is a great book if you ever wondered how the greatest minds of the time were trying to cure people of diseases before they knew how the body worked.

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