Henry K. Beecher

Physician from United States of America

Henry Knowles Beecher (February 4, 1904 – July 25, 1976) was an important figure in the history of anesthesiology and medicine, receiving awards and honors during his career. His 1966 article on unethical practices in medical experimentation within the New England Journal of Medicine was instrumental in the implementation of federal rules on human experimentation and informed consent. A 1999 biography—written by Vincent J. Kopp, M.D. of UNC Chapel Hill and published in an American Society of Anesthesiologists newsletter—describes Beecher as an influential figure within the development of medical ethics and research techniques, though he has not been without controversy. Born as Harry Unangst in Peck, Kansas in 1904, he changed his surname to Beecher in his 20s. This change was said to be for the name recognition of influential 19th century Beechers—preacher Henry Ward Beecher and author Harriet Beecher Stowe. He was, in fact, unrelated to the Beecher family. Beecher received a BA degree in 1926 and an MA degree in physical chemistry in 1927, both from the University of Kansas. While it had been his goal to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry at the Sorbonne, Henry was "persuaded" to study  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Known as
Dr. Henry K. Beecher,Henry Beecher
Date of birth
Place of birth
United States of America


Institution From To
Harvard Medical School
Harvard University


Date of death
Place of death

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