December 26, 1966

Cosmas and Damian And Transplantation

Author Affiliations

Basel, Switzerland

JAMA. 1966;198(13):1373. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110260085030

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To the Editor:—  The caption of your cover picture of the Sept 19 issue relates the portrayal of the operation to replantation. The operation of Cosmas and Damian was a transplantation of the limb of a dead Negro, as is evident from this painting, and also from many others of the same "operation."The subject has, indeed, been a favorite one with many artists. Cosmas and Damian were reputedly twin brothers who lived in the third century in Aegea in Asia Minor. They were committed to vows of poverty, were tortured and beheaded under the persecutions of Diocletian, and were regarded as physicians of their time and as the patron saints of physicians in later days. They were widely acclaimed in the fourth and fifth centuries, and several early churches were named in their honor.The painting illustrated on your cover shows the transplantation of a right leg. Another painting