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[Correspondence] A global perspective on the history of anaesthesia

The overview of the development of anaesthesia by Thomas Schlich in The Lancet (Sept 9, p 1020)1 provided fascinating insight into the changing relationship between surgeons, physicians, and the patient’s body in western medicine. A more global view of medical history affords the opportunity for other sensibilities. The first recorded use of a general anaesthetic in Japan was by Hanaoka Seishu in 1804,2 and it is possible that a similar approach was used by Hua Tao, a Chinese surgeon, in second-century CE.

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