In 1965, while I was a student of Human Anatomy at Kurnool Medical College, I had the opportunity to know about Dr. J. C. B. Grant (1886-1973), the author of Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy. The 5th Edition of his Atlas was published in 1962 and was available in India in our Medical College Library.
Born in Loanhead (south of Edinburgh) in 1886, Grant studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and graduated with an M.B., Ch.B. degree in 1908. While at Edinburgh, he worked under the renowned anatomist Daniel John Cunningham.
Grant became a decorated serviceman of the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War before moving to Canada. He established himself as an ‘anatomist extraordinary’ at the University of Toronto, publishing three textbooks that form the basis of Grant’s Anatomy. The textbooks are still used in anatomy classes today, and made unforgettable memories for those who found themselves in his classes nearly a century ago. One of Grant’s many accomplishments was establishing a division of histology within the department.
As a medical student, I used Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy, the seminal work of Scottish-born Dr. John Charles Boileau Grant, who would become the chair of Anatomy at the University of Toronto in 1930 and retired in 1965.
John Charles Boileau Grant (1886–1973)
The author of Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy (1943), Grant used to train thousands of medical students around the world. He came to University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine from University of Manitoba (and previously Edinburgh), and was Chair of the Department of Anatomy there from 1930 to 1965. Although he is best known for this famous atlas, his research and teaching also included biological anthropology, as evidenced by such work as Anthropometry of the Cree and Saulteaux Indians in Northeastern Manitoba (Archaeological Survey of Canada 1929). The human skeletal collection he formed, the “J.C.B. Grant Collection,” is still a core collection for human osteology in the Department of Anthropology at University of Toronto. He is also remembered in the Grant’s Museum at the Medical Sciences Building at the University of Toronto. This museum, with its displays of anatomical specimens, many of which were dissected by Grant himself, continues to be used in an active learning environment by more than 1000 students each year.
Students continue to use Grant’s textbooks today, and for the more artistic anatomist there’s even a Grant’s Anatomy Coloring Book, published in 2018.
At the University of Toronto, Dr.McMurrich, Chair of Anatomy was succeeded as chairman in 1930 by Dr. John Charles Boileau Grant. Dr. Grant wrote three text books, of which “An Atlas of Anatomy” (published in 1943) rapidly gained international prominence and is still, one of the most widely used anatomical atlases in the world. It is now known as “Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy” and is in its tenth edition. The atlas was based on a series of elegant dissections done either by Grant or by others under his supervision. Many of these dissections are currently housed in Grant’s Museum at the University of Toronto.
The Rudi-Grant Connection is about knowing the man, the building blocks and the structural units and organization of the human body. To defend the human existence, the Rudi-Grant Connection lays the emphasis on knowing the person who is at risk apart from knowing the agent posing the risk.
THE IDENTITY OF MULTICELLULAR HUMAN ORGANISM:
Daniel John Cunningham was born on 15 April 1850 in Scotland. After his initial schooling at his home town, Crieff, he took up the study of medicine at the University of Edinburgh and passed with honours. He is best known for the excellent series of dissection manuals, namely Cunningham’s Dissection Manuals. Cunningham’s Manual of Practical Anatomy has provided me the learning tools to know and understand Man’s External and Internal Reality and its Identity as described by Cells, Tissues, Organs,and Organ Systems.
I learned the truths about the living human body and about Life while dissecting the dead human bodies in a systematic manner. The Manual of Practical Anatomy which guides us through this entire process was published in England. The author Dr. Daniel John Cunningham prepared the Manual while dissecting cadavers of British or Irish citizens. He had never encountered cadavers of Indian citizens. At Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India, where I was a student, the Department of Anatomy obtains dead bodies from Government General Hospital Kurnool and most of the deceased are the poor, illiterate, and uneducated people of that region. None of the deceased had the chance to know this man called Cunningham and Cunningham had no knowledge about the existence of these people who arrive on our dissection tables. But, as the dissection of the human body proceeds, inch, by inch, we recognize the anatomical parts as described by Cunningham. The manual also lists some anatomical variations and we very often exchange information between various dissection tables and recognize the variations mentioned. The dissections also involve slicing the organs and studying them, both macroscopically, and microscopically. We did not miss any part of the human body. So what is the Identity of this Human person or Human subject? How does the living Human organism maintain its Identity and Individuality? Apart from the Cultural Traditions of India, several Schools of Religious Thought claim that the Human Individual and its Identity is represented by Human Soul. Where does this soul exist in the human body? What is the location if the soul is present in the living person? Does man have a soul? How does the human organism acquires Knowledge about its own structures and the functions they perform?
A 9-Years Long Service Medal to Salute the Law of Temperance
The Law of Temperance
John Milton (1608 – 1674), in his greatest poetic achievement of ‘PARADISE LOST’ describes Man’s First Disobedience of God, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein Man was placed. Adam, the first Man who was created in God’s image and likeness brought Death into the World. God declares that Adam and Eve could no longer abide in ‘Garden of Eden‘, the Paradise. God sends Angel Michael with a Band of Cherubim to dispossess them. Michael reveals to Adam the ‘Law of Temperance’ which could help him to live for many long years.
Angel Michael also comforted Adam by assuring him that if he observes the ‘Law of Temperance’, Death would be like the gentle act of gathering a ripe fruit when fully mature.
Paradise Lost, Book XI ( 520-540):
In John Milton’s epic poem of Paradise Lost, angel Michael explained ‘The Law of Temperance’ to Adam, the first created man to face the threat of death.
I yield it just, said Adam, and submit.
But is there yet no other way, besides
These painful passages, how we may come
To Death, and mix with our connatural dust?
There is, said, Michael, if thou well observe
The rule of not too much, by temperance taught
In what thou eatst and drinkst, seeking from thence
Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,
Till many years over thy head return:
So maist thou live, till like ripe Fruit thou drop
Into thy Mother lap, or be with ease
Gathered, not harshly pluckt, for Death mature:
The Nature of Temperance
The essence of Temperance is choosing moderation and deliberately avoid excess. In Indian Culture and Tradition, living in moderation and living in virtue are almost identical. Socrates suggests that one should “choose that which is orderly and sufficient and has a due provision for daily needs”. He compares the intemperate man “to a vessel full of holes because it can never be satisfied”. Socrates describes the temperate man as able to satisfy his limited desires, whereas the intemperate man of boundless desire, can never pause in his search of pleasure. According to Freud, when “the ego learns that it must inevitably go without immediate satisfaction, postpone gratification, learn to endure a degree of pain, and altogether renounce certain sources of pleasure”, it “becomes ‘reasonable’, is no longer controlled by the pleasure-principle, but follows the reality-principle”, which seeks ” a delayed and diminished pleasure, one which is assured by its realization of fact, its relation to reality”.
Temperance and Courage
Saint Thomas Aquinas and ‘The Law of Temperance’.
Thomas Aquinas has defined Temperance as “a disposition of the soul, moderating any passions or acts, so as to keep them within bounds. Temperate refers to a man who abstains from bodily pleasures and delights in this very fact. A man not only acts temperately but is temperate in character, when his desires are themselves habitually moderated to be in accord with reason. A temperate man is not pained at the absence of pleasure or by his abstinence from it. Temperance contributes the virtue of Fortitude which strengthens men against “the enticement of pleasure” as well as against the fear of pain. A man who is able to stand firm against the onslaught of pleasures is more able to remain firm against the dangers of death. And so “Temperance can be said to be Brave”. The endurance of pain is central to the nature of Courage. Temperance and Courage are not distinct virtues as both are based upon an ability to stand firm against pain and danger.
The Nine-Years Long Service Medal – A Salute to the Law of Temperance:
During my service in the Indian Army Medical Corps, I learned the values of Temperance, Fortitude, Courage, and delaying gratification of desires, and avoid seeking physical comforts and pleasures.
During the first nine years of my Indian Army Service, apart from taking part in the War of Liberation of Bangladesh, I participated in a variety of Army Operations that keep the men ready and prepared for a battle. Military Training and Service can be best described as habituation for a temperate character. The nature of Army Operations and Tactics always demand to overcome the onslaught of sense pleasures and voluntarily delaying the gratification of personal desires. A lifestyle based upon physical ease and comfort and indulgence in food and alcohol is not compatible with the Army way of life. The nature of Army Operations is influenced by terrain, climatic conditions, distances and the availability of transportation. There is no scope to cater for physical comfort, relaxation, and entertainment. The supply of rations and food provisions is limited because of the problems of their bulk and weight. Army Rules and the Code of Conduct emphasize that men should honor their commitment to serve more than anything else. Such commitment to Serve with Honor would only be possible only when the man in uniform lives in accordance with the Law of Temperance.