Harold Griffith

Canadian stamp Griffith

Date of issue: March 15, 1991
Printer: Ashton-Potter
Series: Canadian Doctors
Design: René Milot

Harold Griffith

Harold Griffith was born in 1894 in Montreal. He graduated in medicine at McGill in 1922 and received a doctorate in Homeopathic Medicine from Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in 1923. His interest in anaesthesia began when he was a medical student and continued following his appointment to the Homeopathic Hospital of Montreal (renamed the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 1951).

Griffith’s most important contribution to anaesthesiology was the use of curare. Although thought at the time to be poisonous at any dose, he showed that it could be used safely to produce muscle relaxation during surgery. This allowed the use of less anaesthetic, broadening the scope of surgery and decreasing postoperative morbidity and mortality. Griffith also served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anaesthesia at McGill and was a leader in several anesthesiology Associations. He died in 1985.

The Stamp

The stamp shows Griffith with Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the background. The first-day cover includes a photograph of the Hospital at the bottom right of the collage.

First-day cover Griffith

Back to top