In 1847, Dr. Semmelweis, a Jewish Hungarian doctor, began to sound the alarm in Vienna that women were needlessly dying in hospitals after childbirth due to the negligence of doctors, who routinely performed autopsies and other medical procedures without “bothering” to wash their hands between procedures. Unfortunately, Semmelweis’s calls for handwashing were rejected and mocked by his colleagues. He became severely depressed, and he was involuntarily committed to an insane asylum, where he died at the age of 47.

Via UPI.

Google is celebrating physician Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis and hand washing with a new Doodle.

Semmelweis was appointed Chief Resident in the maternity clinic of Vienna General Hospital in 1847 when he discovered the medical benefits of hand washing and how it reduces the transmission of diseases.

Google’s homepage features artwork of Semmelweis next to a play button. Pushing the button starts an instructional video on how to properly wash your hands based on recommendations from the World Health Organization….

This section is for comments from's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Tammy agrees with or endorses any particular comment just because she lets it stand.
5 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Dr. H says:

    The story of Dr. Semmelweis is sad. But the fact that Joseph Gayetty isn’t getting his Google doodle is sadder.

  2. Alain41 says:

    This sounds like a story, we don’t tell our kids.
    Wash your hands before dinner please.
    Dad,the Doctor that preached hand washing went insane.

  3. Maynard says:

    Semmelweis observed that births assisted by midwives survived better than those assisted by physicians. Another data point, albeit an old one, for questioning “experts”.

You must be logged in to post a comment.