“The man with a stomach having no lid”

After reading about the Beaumont study about digestability and discussing it in class I decided to do some research to understand more about the study, since the book provided very little detail about the nature of the experiments being done to St. Martin. Apparently, the doctor, Beaumont, mentioned in the reading was an extremely well known doctor and had a hospital named after him, but after reading about his experiments with St. Martin I began to wonder why anybody would call him a great doctor. When St. Martin was under the care of Beaumont for experimentation, he was treated terribly. St. Martin was Beaumont’s slave for the entirity of his experimentation. He was made to do chores and lug wood, much of which caused him pain because of his condition. The experiments he was forced through were also painful and intrusive. Intrusive as Beaumont extracted pieces of St. Martins stomach lining to study, which would have been another painful experiment. The contracts he was made to sign included minimal pay that he was constantly fighting against. St. Martin also was concerned that he never got any recognition for being a medical miracle, it was merely Beaumont who got the fame for his cruel ways of research. In Beaumont’s last letter to St. Martin begging him to come back for more testing, he offered him up to 160 acres of land for his family and 500$ a year, however, he got no reply, for St. Martin was not going back to him for any reason. St. Martin was so against his stomach being used for testing that he was buried eight feet underground, with two feet of rock and six feet of dirt over him so that there was no possible way doctors could get to him.

You can read more about St. Martin here or here or here or here or here.

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