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Jacalyn Duffin


Jacalyn Duffin, MD (Toronto), FRCP(C), PhD (Sorbonne), FRSC, a hematologist and historian, occupies the Hannah Chair of the History of Medicine at Queen’s University, Kingston Canada. A former President of both the American Association for the History of Medicine and the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine, she is author of eight books and holds several awards for research, writing, teaching, and service. Her research interests include disease concepts, medical technology, and religion and medicine. She holds fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada (2012) and in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (2013). Her current clinical activity is in breast cancer, and she participates in an award-winning research project on music memory and dementia. Jacalyn's most recent book is Medical Saints: Cosmas and Damian in a Postmodern World (Oxford University Press, 2013).


Can an Atheist Scientist Believe in Miracles?

Peering down the microscope, I saw a deadly leukaemia cell and decided that the patient whose blood I was examining must be dead. It was 1986, and I was reading a large stack of bone marrow samples "blind" without being told why. Given the nasty diagnosis, I imagined that it must be for a lawsuit. Perhaps a grieving family was suing the doctor for a death that really could not have been helped. The bone marrows told a story: the patient took chemotherapy, went into remission, then relapsed, had... Read More