2011 $5 1/10th oz. Gold Coin - 75th Anniv. Of Dr. Norman Bethunes Mobile Blood Transfusion Vehicle (TAX Exempt)
A Canadian Hero Transforms Military Field Medicine
Born in 1890 in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Dr. Henry Norman Bethune was a celebrated surgeon and medical innovator.
One of the most influential events of his life came when he contracted tuberculosis in 1926. It was during his stay at a New York sanatorium that his strong social convictions crystallized with his medical genius, and he began to understand the need for innovative, broad-based treatment of thoracic illness.
Dr. Bethune traveled to the front of the Spanish Civil War in November 1936 to assist Spain in its fight against fascism. While tending to wounded soldiers there, he noted that about three-quarters were dying of blood loss from injuries that should not be fatal. The solution, he deduced, was to bring medical care to the wounded.
He began collecting and carefully refrigerating blood from volunteer donors then delivering it by prototypical ambulance to the front lines. This vehicle and his small medical team saved thousands of lives, performing up to 100 blood transfusions every day.
In 1938, Dr. Bethune found himself once again on the front lines of battle - this time in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). As head of a medical team there for two years, he worked under arduous circumstances, of ten going for days without sleep, saving both Chinese and Japanese lives with his mobile transfusion unit.
His innovation is credited as the inspiration for the development of Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H.) Units during the Korean War.
Item Number: 113856
Face Value: 5 dollars
Composition: 99.99% pure gold
Weight (g): 3.13
Diameter (mm): 16
- Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the creation of the world's first mobile blood transfusion vehicle by Canadian physician and medical inventor Dr. Norman Bethune
- First time the Royal Canadian Mint offers a 1/10th oz gold coin outside of a set.
- Crafted in 99.99% pure gold, hand polished to proof perfection and struck to mintage of only 5000 coins worldwide.
Coin is encapsulated and presented in a maroon clamshell case lined with flock and protected by a black sleeve.