Richard Bonar McConnellBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7431.111 (Published 09 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:111
- Tim Bullamore
Innovative gastroenterologist whose research covered smoking and lung cancer, the genetics of ulcers, and the prevention of Rhesus haemolytic disease
Richard McConnell, a blameless and hardworking gastroenterologist, had the dubious honour of treating Saddam Hussein for a stomach complaint in the mid-1970s. He thought little more about it until, at the start of the first Gulf war, he was contacted by the Foreign Office anxious to know more details about the Iraqi dictator's anatomy.
The consultation took place in Baghdad in 1975 when McConnell was attending a medical conference with a colleague. While there they were asked if they could spare the time to see a VIP, and were duly whisked away. During the consultation McConnell realised the identity of the patient, who had already achieved a certain notoriety on the world stage.
In later years McConnell recalled that Saddam was just one of many patients he had examined over the years, and there had been no follow …