He was only 28, and born into a family of rich physicians. He was also Catholic, and religion outlined whatever was done to the human body, even today. At that time the understood belief and practice, was a man’s skeleton had one less rib than a woman’s, for
God took it from Adam to create Eve.
Dr. Andreas Vesalius, wanted to find out, but tradition was against him, he needed to get a body unknown to anyone, and dissect it, in private. This rich,brash,brilliant physician got someone to steal a body from the gallows at Louvain, near his hometown in Brussels, Belgium; and just as he thought, there was no missing rib.
Thus, in 1543, he became famous, with this different approach to healing the human body, De Humanis Corpis Fabrica (Latin), THE STRUCTURE OF THE HUMAN BODY, foudationed man’s modern approach to neurosurgery; with organ transplants being common today, not to mention the miracle surgeries on enjoined twins and premature babies
Johns Hopkins wants to celebrate the “Dawn of Neurosurgery”, and in its library at Mount Vernon Place, in Baltimore Md., one can come face to face with the tools and pictures of the remarkable forerunners of surgical dexterity.An exhibition worth seeing.
So why did Andreas do it? “a surgeon ought indeed to have a Lyon’s heart, a ladies hand and a hawk’s eye, for that it is a work of no small importance” (Dr. William Clowes, 1544-1604)