Robert Liston, Surgical Pioneer

Liston is most known for a tale about how multiple deaths resulted from one of his surgeries. But that means that his entire biography as a surgeon is dominated by the apocryphal events of one day. So today we’ll unpack his career and ethics.

Dentist Horace Wells set up shop in Hartford in 1836, before the discovery of anasthesia. At an exhibition in 1844 he became certain that nitrous oxide could revolutionize medicine. He tried to demonstrate his findings... but things didn't go as planned.