Medicine: Venom for Pain

His twisted features toneless as grey clay, a middle-aged Brooklyn man last week doubled up with such pain in his abdomen that his tousled head banged his knees. For a multitude of similar sufferers from cancer of abdominal organs the only anodyne is morphine.

The pain-contorted Brooklyn man was a patient of Anesthetist Marius Bohdan Greene. Taking him into an aseptic operating room, he gently rolled the patient on his side, rolled up the bed shirt, injected into the spine a mixture of alcohol chloroform, acetone and cobra venom. The tortured man unbent. Faint color...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!