Norman Bethune vs. Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best

At least one Canadian medical hero will fall by the wayside

Norman Bethune

Why he’s famous: Bethune revolutionized battlefield medicine.

Why he deserves to win: During the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Bethune invented a mobile blood transfusion service which could collect blood from donors and deliver it wherever it was needed. His “mobile blood bank” is considered the greatest medical innovation from the war. Later, Bethune would take his battlefield medicine expertise to China, where he became the Red Army’s Medical Chief and taught his techniques to new doctors and nurses. Think of Bethune as the Canadian Florence Nightingale.

Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best

Why they’re famous: Along with Best, a medical student he’d hired, Banting isolated insulin as the hormone which regulates the body’s blood sugar levels.

Why they deserve to win: After reading a paper that suggested diabetes may be caused by a lack of a hormone secreted by islets in the back of the pancreas, he devised a way to isolate the islets by tying off most of the pancreas with ligatures. In 1921, Frederick Banting hired Charles Best and the two removed a dog’s pancreas, which caused blood sugar levels to rise (mimicking diabetics) before injecting the islets back into the dog. The animal lived for several more months, proving they had isolated the blood-sugar regulating hormone insulin. By 1922, the pair were bringing comatose diabetics in Toronto back to life. Diabetics worldwide have lived more normal lives ever since.

Mike Lazaridis vs. Peter Robertson

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Norman Bethune vs. Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best

  1. I am a type 1 diabetic and have been since my third birthday. I am now 56 years old, play 18 holes of golf 3 to 4 times a week (walking), played competitive bball ti I was 52, have a wonderful wife and two great kids. No fooling, I AM BIASED towards the discovers of insulin.
    But that said, in my opinion Terry Foxs' innovative impact on society world wide is huge.
    Now for the real reason I am posting. I went to Camp Banting from 1960 to 1970 and would really enjoy connecting with anyone who knows about the Order of the Seal/Walrus, Dr. Reid, canoe tripping on the Madawaska……..

  2. I am biased too ; no contest…insulin is my life line .
    Dingle , I hope you got your 50 year medal ! And that you get to connect to those you described here .

    • Dingle

      Did you get your Canadian 50 year award?

  3. . Actually I don't agree with you. When I voted, I believe that Insulin is more important than the mobile blood tranfusion device because this device won't be used everyday. Instead, insulin is saving milions of people worldwild every moment and every day.

  4. Enter text right hI am too young :) …diagnosed in 1983 ….Eli Lilly states , that their brand of insulin ONLY can be used for these 50 years in order to apply ; I know one lady who will apply with Joslin , Boston , US …my next thing to do : CDA to acknowledge …so please apply with Joslin as a start !! You seem to do soooo well , congrats from me and the much younger folks !ere!

  5. I am sorry to see medical greats competing in the "semi-finals". I think they should be competing in the finals. They should be competing against technology in the semi-finals.

  6. Judging by the poll results thus far, no Canadian medical hero will fall by the wayside.

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