Bethune, Norman

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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While stationed at Bethune, Norman was promoted to corporal and sent on a month-long veterinary course where he came second out of a 60-strong class.