DOI: 10.17720/2409-5834.v4.1.2017.07g

Mikhail A. Morokhovets

This article presents material on the life and work of medical doctor Professor M.Yu. Lakhtin. Having graduated from Moscow University’s Medical Department in 1897, he made substantial contributions to the development of Russian science. One of the main fi elds of his scientifi c activity was the history of medicine. In 1901 Lakhtin began teaching as privatdozent at Moscow University’s Department of the History of Medicine. On his initiative the department introduced a course on the history of Russian medicine. In his works on the history of surgery Lakhtin devoted special attention not to the operation methods but to the evolution of medical opinions and their infl uence on surgery. Being the author of a series of works on Russian medicine in the 17th−18th centuries, he published and introduced to the scientifi c community many archival documents related to medicine in pre-Petrine and post-Petrine Russia. Lakhtin actively translated into Russian foreign scientifi c publications in various fi elds. He collected and published extensive material on the history of the military-medical organization for assisting the wounded, on the development of hospital care and on surgical assistance to women in childbirth. He devoted special attention to the history of superstitions, prejudices and misconceptions related to diseases and to their analysis from the viewpoint of psychology and scientifi c outlooks. Lakhtin studied how various peoples in various eras interpreted obsession. He based his studies of the remnants of primitive outlooks in 20th-century society on scientifi c research conducted by his Western contemporaries. Of particular interest is his analysis of the symptoms of pathological altruism as a psychological disorder, which he observed in many cases both in life and in literature. As publisher and editor of a series of periodicals Lakhtin helped popularize the knowledge of medical psychology and psychiatry. He was a talented organizer of psychiatric aid to the mentally ill, in particular, to the soldiers and offi cers who had fought in the Russian-Japanese War and World War I. He also participated in the establishment of sanatoriums for the mentally ill and health insurance in Soviet Russia.

Keywords: Mikhail Lakhtin, history of medicine, psychiatry, medical psychology

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