Bichat, Maria-Francis-Xavier

, a very celebrated French physician, and whose labours have greatly promoted the study of physiology, was born Nov. 11, 1771, at Thoirette. His father was also a physician, and had probably initiated him in medical knowledge, which he studied at Lyons, where Petit, then surgeon of the Hotel-Dieu in that city, under whom he was taught anatomy and surgery, had such an opinion of his talents, that he made him his assistant, although then only in his twentieth year. When Lyons was besieged in 1793, he made his escape, and arrived at Paris about the end of that year. There, without any recommendations from friends, he resumed his studies and became one of the pupils of the celebrated Dussault, who discovering his uncommon talents, invited him to his house, treated him as his son, and found in him a most able assistant. Of this generous protector, however, he was deprived by death in 1795, and became in his turn the support of Dussault’s widow and children. He first completed the fourth volume of Dussault’s “Journal de | Chirurgie.” In 1797 he published his “CEuvres chirurgicales,” 2 vols. 8vo. In the same year he hegan to give lectures on anatomy and operative surgery, to which, in 1798, he added a course of physiology, v.hich produced his “Traite des Membranes,1800, 8vo, and “Recherches physiologiques sur la vie et sur la mort,1800, 8vo, in both which he advances some of those original opinions which attracted the attention of the faculty both at home and abroad, and paved the way for the higher fame he acquired by his “Anatomic generale appliquee a la physiologic et a la medicine,Paris, 1801, 4 vols. 8vo, one of the ablest works n the subject which France has produced. The year preceding, although only twenty-eight years old, he was appointed physician to the Hotel Dieu, and had begun a nevr treatise on descriptive anatomy, when the world was deprived of his labours, by a premature death, the consequence of a putrid fever, July 22, 1802. He was deeply regretted for his talents and virtues. 1


Biog, UuiTcrsglle.- —Dict. Hist.