Boerhaave, Abraham Kaan

, professor of medicine in the university of Petersburg, was born at the Hague in 1715. He was the son of James Kaan, and of Margaret, the daughter of Herman Boerhaave. After receiving a good classical education, he went to Leyden, where, applying to the study of medicine under the celebrated Albinus Gaubius, and other masters, he was admitted to the degree of doctor in 1738. He iiad before obtained an honorary medal from the university for his discourse “De gaudiis Alcheimstarum,” though he was more particularly attached to anatomy, which he cultivated with great success. The year following he took the name of Ins uncle Boerhaave. In 1740 he went to Petersburgh, where his talents soon procured him the situation of professor in medicine in the university there, and of one of the members of the imperial academy. By Portal and Blumenbach he is called archiater, or aulic counsellor, and first physician to the empress, confounding him with his brother Herman Kaan B. who about the same time enjoyed that honour. In the course of a severe and tedious illness, from which he with difficulty recovered, he lost his hearing. This happened 1749. He died in 1753. His works are: “Perspiratio dicta Hippocrati, per universum corpus anatomice illustrata,” Lugd. B. 1738, 12mo; in which he shews there is a constant inhalation or absorption, and an exhalation, or perspiration, carried on, not only on the surface of the body, but in all the principal cavities. “Impetum faciens dictum Hippocrati per corpus consentiens, philologice et physiologice illustratum,” Lugd. Bat. 1745, 12mo. la this he treats of the action of the mind upon the body, by the means of the nerves of the fabric and motion of the muscles on the effects of opium, given to a dog, &c. He also gave the anatomy of an elephant, which he had an opportunity of dissecting, and of two monstrous infants, &c. 2

2

Haller Bibl. Anat.—Rees’s Cyclopædia.