Crawford Long Name Change: More Ethnic Cleansing? – Commentary by Frank Gillispie

“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,” is a famous quote from John Donne, one of the most influential poets of the Renaissance. In this meditation Donne was saying that when one person suffers a loss, we all lose. We are all interconnected with each other and with the history and culture of our society.

That is why I quoted Donne. Georgia has just suffered a damaging historical and cultural loss. And because of that loss, we are all losers.

Emory University announced Friday, February 13, that it has changed the name of Emory Crawford Long Hospital to "Emory University Hospital Midtown." The change does a great disservice to Georgia’s history and culture. Dr. Crawford W. Long, a native of Danielsville, was the first doctor to use sulphuric ether as an anesthetic and was the first doctor to use anesthesia during surgery.

Dr Long’s discovery makes him one of the great medical pioneers. The fact that he is a native of Madison County Georgia, educated at the University of Georgia and practiced medicine in Jefferson Georgia brings a great deal of honor to our area. He is so important to the history and culture of our state that his statue is one of the two from Georgia located in statutory hall at the Nation’s capital. A duplicate of that statue stands in the courthouse square in the center of Danielsville.

Our state and region are already being rapidly deprived of our history and culture by the “Politically Correct” crowd. They seem to be determined to wipe out all memory of our history, and to deny our unique culture and heritage. Some have called it the "Ethnic Cleansing of Dixie." Those losses are steadily depriving our state of its soul. Soon our children will have no idea of who their ancestors were or what contributions they made to this nation. And every time our history is forgotten, or our heritage is denied, they become less knowledgeable of who they are.

Soon, we will be a region of zombies. We will be surrounded by people with no sense of belonging. Their lives will be shallow and meaningless. All they will know is to go to work, spend money on foolishness, and eventually die without leaving any part of themselves for future generations.

We need to remember Dr. Crawford W. Long. We need to know of his great contribution to medicine. Emory University Hospital needs to remember that without the pioneering efforts of men like Dr. Long, they would not have the ability to serve the medical needs of the area. Removing his name from their facility is an affront to the very service to which they are dedicated, the best in medical service.

I hope that Emory University will receive enough protest to cause them to change their minds and keep the honored name of Georgia’s most famous doctor on their hospital. If you agree, let them know.

Editor’s Note: Post online comments on the Atlanta Biz Chronicle news story below. Emory’s website news release provides two emails and phone numbers: Janet Christenbury, 404.727.8599; and Lance Skelly, 404.686.8538. Please keep your contacts respectable and worthy of our ancestors.

Copyright © 2009 by Frank Gillispie

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