'GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN'
THE MARTYRS TO MEDICINE make up an army whose services
to humanity are as limitless, we are told, as posterity.
Recently six English doctors were inocculated with living
cancer germs to test the Gye-Bernard theory that cancer
is caused by a virus which is harmless without a certain
chemical agent. They are still waiting to see. Now comes
a story of an American missionary dotor who sswallowed
a quantity of flukes, an intestinal parasite which claims
countless victims in China, in order to bring them alive,
to this country to be studied. Some years ago, writes Dr.
James H. Franklin in The Missionary Review of the World
(New York), Dr. C. H. Barlow was discharged from a sanitarium
at Saranac Lake, New York, where he had successfully been
treated for pulmonary tuberculosis, deliberately contracted
in order to save a Chinese patient's life. Ready again
to report for work in the mission field, he went to Dr.
Franklin, who is secretary of the American Baptist Foreign
Mission Society, and asked to be sent back to China. After
spending a few months in post-graduate study at the London
School of Tropical Medicine, Dr. Barlow returned to the
field of his first adventure with death, and there began
a study of the fluke. He was hampered by the lack of laboratory
equipment, and facilities. He pondered on how to get the
flukes to a laboratory. The American immigration laws would
not allow him to them here in the body of a sick Chinese.
However, he did bring them over, and later met Dr. Franklin
who carries on the story:
"How did you get them over here?", I asked. "Well," he
replied, "one Sunday morning when most of the assistants
where at the church service, I took 32 flukes from the
body of a patient in the hospital, put them in a tumbler,
locked my office door, and drank them down." The memory
of the experience seemed very vivid to the doctor, and
he paused for breath.
"Did you tell any of the other missionaries what
you had done?", I inquired. "No," he answered. "Did
you tell your wife?" "No, I did not tell anyone,
I boarded a ship and came to America."
"I do not know how long Dr. Barlow allowed the flukes
to multiply in his own body, but after several months,
he presented himself at Johns Hopkins University, and told
his story to the amazed experts,who gladly helped him to
free his body of the parasites, and to make a careful study
of them. One of the experts with whom I sat at table on
a Pacific liner last year told me that only one of the
flukes survived the treatment given them at Johns Hopkins,
and that Dr. Barlow slept and ate in the laboratory watching
lest the temperature change suddenly and something go wrong
with the experiment. He had only one chance. In April,
1922, I found him back in Shaohsing working in his little
"Well, Doctor, have you found where that bug germinates?",
"I think I have", he replied.
Then he explained that he had exposed all manner of things
to it, but a single species of land snail, which the Chinese
eat as freely as we do oysters, was the only article of
food which did not seem to be immune when exposed to the
germs of the parasite. However he was a bit confused because
of evidence of two forms of malignant life in that particular
species of snail, and he was not sure which was which.
"How will you determine?", I inquired.
"I have swallowed number one, and if it works, I
will know which is which."
Moved by the thought of possiblities, I exclaimed, "but
that is dangerous, man." "So it is", he
replied quietly, "but the game is worth the candle."
When I inquired whether his wife knew what he was doing,
he reported, "No, you are the only person who knows
anything about it."
Not thinking of anything more appropriate, he writes,
Dr. Franklin remarked that the Mission Board would certainly
stand by his wife and children if Dr. Barlow should not
survive the fluke. Dr Barlow chuckled, and said that a
friend in Michigan, a life insurance man, who knew of his
adventure, had given him a policy just before he left America
the last time. So continues Dr. Franklin, "Greatly
imprest by his heroism, I asked a question regarding his
convictions. He replied that he had some convictions, and
added, "this is my favorite passage of scripture:
My Father worketh hitherto,and I work. "No heaven
for me with a harp and a crown. I want a heaven with some
blue prints in it -- something more to do."
What came of it all? Dr. Barlow traced the parasite back
to the species of land snail and advised the Chinese accordingly.
Nothing less than the sspirit of the Eternal Christ could
have prompted him. Such sacrificial service must compel
Chinese and others to inquire, "In whose name and
by what power have you done this thing?"
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