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William Beecher Scoville (January 13, 1906 - February 25, 1984) was a neurosurgeon at Hartford Hospital. Scoville established the Department of Neurosurgery at Connecticut's Hartford Hospital in 1939. He performed surgery on Henry Gustav Molaison in 1953 to relieve epilepsy that led to damage of Molaison's hippocampus and left him with memory disorder.[1]

Biography[edit | edit source]

He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 13, 1906. Although he had a strong interest in automobiles throughout his life, his father pushed William toward a career in medicine. After completing his undergraduate degree at Yale he attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1932. In 1953 he performed surgery on Henry Gustav Molaison. In 1965 a lawsuit was brought against him for malpractice. In the suit the patient claimed they made promises of positive outcomes from the surgery.[2][3] Scoville died as the result of a car crash on February 25, 1984.

Scoville also contributed to the development of the aneurysm clip. Scoville's modification was to place a coiled spring with an axis parallel to the plane of clip closure as described in the article Scoville WB: Miniature torsion bar spring aneurysm clip. J Neurosurg 25:97, 1966.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. includeonly>Benedict Carey. "H. M., an Unforgettable Amnesiac, Dies at 82", December 4, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-12-05. “Eighteen years after that bicycle accident, Mr. Molaison arrived at the office of Dr. William Beecher Scoville, a neurosurgeon at Hartford Hospital. Mr. Molaison was blacking out frequently, had devastating convulsions and could no longer repair motors to earn a living. After exhausting other treatments, Dr. Scoville decided to surgically remove two finger-shaped slivers of tissue from Mr. Molaison’s brain. The seizures abated, but the procedure — especially cutting into the hippocampus, an area deep in the brain, about level with the ears — left the patient radically changed.”
  2. includeonly>"He Didn't 'Guarantee' Success, Surgeon Says", October 9, 1965. Retrieved on 2010-12-09. “Dr. William Beecher Scoville, an internationally - known Hartford neurosurgeon, denied Friday that he had given a former patient any guarantee of success in connection with an operation on the patient. ... unless a tumor or blood vessel problem was discovered during surgery. ...”
  3. includeonly>"Jury Rejects Claims Against Dr. Scoville", October 22, 1965. Retrieved on 2010-12-09. “A $150000 malpractice suit against Dr. William Beecher Scoville, chief of neurosurgery at Hartford Hospital and an internationally known surgeon, ...”

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