ALEXIS CARREL, A MAN AHEAD OF HIS TIME
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© March 2018, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Alexis Carrel, (1873-1944) was a French-born medical doctor and surgeon who lived most of his life in the United States.
He wrote Man The Unknown, a book we highly recommend. He also wrote an excellent little book called Prayer.
Dr. Carrel won a Nobel Prize in 1912 for his work in saving organs by new suturing techniques. He also developed the first perfusion pump. This could keep organs alive outside the body during surgery and permitted the idea of organ transplants.
Dr. Carrel was also famous because he kept an embryonic chicken heart alive for about 32 years, much longer than a chicken usually lives. He did this by daily cleansing of the fluid media it was in, and by replenishing nutrients.
The research could not be duplicated, so it was presumed to be a fraud. However, he claimed it was not a fraud, and that the others did not replenish the correct nutrients.
INFLUENCE ON DEVELOPMENT SCIENCE
Dr. Carrel influenced Dr. Paul Eck and myself mainly because of one of the themes of his writing. He called it natural versus artificial health.
Over one hundred years ago he stated that doctors give people a type of health he called artificial health. By this he meant that they stayed alive, but required drugs, operations and other medical procedures to maintain themselves.
In contrast, he said, there is natural health, a state people really prefer. He said it is like the state of health of wild animals, who have no need for doctors.
This concept is very related to development science, which seeks to build health and keep us healthy without the need for constant doctoring, drugs and operations. Dr. Carrel was among the first to elucidate the difference between “medical health” and a state of high resistance to all disease, now sometimes referred to as wellness.