The hospital environment has not always been a place of sterility and extreme cleanliness that is associated with it so readily today. Prior to the work of Joseph Lister, the hospital was a place to go to die, not to be cured. If an individual was able to survive the pain and torture of surgery without anesthesia, a postoperative infection would most certainly be their ultimate demise. Thanks to Joseph Lister, later known as Baron Lister, a hospital is now a place of healing and cleanliness, not one of death and filth.
Lister's Early Life:
Joseph Lister was born to Joseph Jackson Lister and Isabella Harris on April 5, 1827 in Upton, England. Upton was a small village outside of the reaches of ever-growing London. Joseph's family were members of the Society of Friends and therefore he was raised in a Quaker environment. Joseph's father, Joseph Jackson Lister was also a well-known scientist known for his invention of the achromatic microscope in 1830, allowing for rapid progress in the studies of cells, bacteria and disease. (Meadows, 180).
Joseph had a happy childhood with his four siblings and was a good student. He had particular interests in the fields of botany and zoology. Joseph was able to enter the University College of London in 1844. This was important because at the time entrance to the universities in England were restricted to those who would pledge an oath to the king and the church of England. Pledging such an oath was directly against the religious beliefs of the Quakers. The University College of England was a nonsectarian school and the Quakers were able to attend it. Joseph Lister received his college degree in 1847 at the age of 20. Lister wa...
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