Humanizing Medicine

1990

In 1987, medical historian and hematologist Jacalyn Duffin was asked to read, under the microscope, a stack of bone marrow samples without being told why. She saw acute leukemia cells and concluded the patient must be dead. Unbeknownst to Duffin, the patient was still alive claiming to have been cured through the intercession of a long-dead Montrealer, Marie-Marguerite d’Youville (1701-1771).

Only afterwards did Duffin learn that her findings had been sent to the Vatican and applied to the cause for canonization of d’Youville, founder of an order of nuns that established hospitals, shelters, and schools around the country. Duffin’s expert medical testimony helped make the case for the first Canadian-born saint.

Jacalyn Duffin »