The daily educational pearl – a bit of history

A famous patient suffered aortic dissection at age 97; he refused surgery but then became comatose and the hospital ethics commission decided to go ahead with surgery. He had a long postoperative hospital stay (8 months) and died at 99 years of age. Who was he?

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Michael Elias DeBakey – the same Cardiothoracics surgeon who, among many other things, described the 2 types of aortic dissection and pioneered its surgical repair (the DeBakey procedure), the use of Dacron grafts and supported the stationing of doctors closer to the front lines thus improving significantly the survival rate of wounded soldiers.