Norman Bethune

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Norman Bethune
Henry Norman Bethune
BirthplaceGravenhurst, Ontario, Canada
EducationUniversity of Toronto
Known for Developing mobile medical units, surgical instruments and a method for transporting blood for transfusions.

Bethune, Norman


Born Mar. 4, 1890; died Nov. 13, 1939. A Canadian surgeon, public figure, antifascist.

Bethune received his medical education at the University of Toronto and worked as a surgeon in London, Toronto, Montreal, and other cities. He wrote a number of articles and made many improvements in the surgical treatment of tuberculosis. Bethune visited the USSR (1935) and lectured in Canada on the USSR. In Spain (1936) he created mobile surgical detachments and organized a blood transfusion service in the republican army. In 1937 he organized a blood service in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. He was active in training medical personnel and educating donors from the local population. Bethune died of a blood infection after operating on wounded soldiers in the mountainous regions of China.


“A New Combined Aspirator and Artificial Pneumothorax Apparatus.” Canadian Medical Association Journal, June 1929, vol. 20, p. 663.
“Pleural Poudrage.” Journal of Thoracic Surgery, February 1935, vol. 4, pp. 251–61.


Allan, T., and S. Gordon. The Scalpel, the Sword: The Story of Dr. Norman Bethune. Boston, 1952. (Partly translated into Russian in Inostrannaia literatura, 1956, nos. 1–2.)


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