In 1944 a certain Dr. Smith at a state university in Utah, volunteered for an experiment that untill this day has been considered a classic act of heroism in the world of medicine. He allowed himself to be injected with curare by a collegue, whilst he and his collegue did not know what the outcome of the experiment would be.

Dr. Smith described what he experienced when the poison started to work and the first signs of paralysis started to show. He reported that at first he lost control of his mouth and throat. He couldn't swallow and had the feeling to choke in his own saliva. After that the muscles from his arms and legs started to fail and paralysis really started to kick in. Finally his respiratory system started to fail, and he felt that he would die by suffocation. Only heart and brain continued their work. The observing doctors noticed that breathing became difficult for Dr. Smith, and allowed him to breathe pure oxygen. They kept it going for a while untill finally they ended the experiment.

Dr. Smith stated afterwards : "It felt like being buried alive". His experiment was very useful, for the future use of curare as an anaesthetic. Lets hear it for Dr. Smith!

source: Dramatische Medizin Orell Füßli Verlag, Zürich