Ana Aslan

Life History - Part 13



Portraitfoto Parhon
Ana mit Parhon
Ana with Parhon

The building from the 19th century which housed the clinic of Timissoara, looked more like a jail than a hospital. There were 200 beds and high walls with small windows. Only occasionally did the sun penetrate. The main entrance was closed by a massive medieval wooden gate, which led to a geometric centre-court. This all caused a very old-fashioned and intimidating atmosphere. The clinic personnel were extremely excited to meet their new Head. When an elegant lady with a warm smile entered the room, the ice of respect and tense expectations began to melt away immediately. This was no strict demigod in white, but an involved doctor who showed great empathy with the suffering of her patients. She involved the entire staff in her examinations, and set great store on all empirical observations inside the clinic. She taught her colleagues, that theory without practical knowledge is useless, and science without a connection to living people, senseless.


Saturday was a day to which the clinic staff looked forward. On this day, Ana Aslan convened everyone to a medical question and discussion round, and she and her colleagues exchanged experiences with great openness. Using cases from the clinic, she discussed the pros and cons of certain methods of treatment. In this way, her younger colleagues were able to benefit from her rich store of experience. This tradition of “Saturday discussions” was continued at the clinic in Timissoara forever. Her greatest innovations in Timissoara, was to demand and follow through a completely new modern hospital which conformed to all the demands of a medical clinic. The “New Clinic” kept its name for decades after it was completed. It was conceptualised according to standards of modern hospital planning: Multi-functional rooms, large windows, and a practical infrastructure.


During this time, Ana Aslan studied the essays of the Neurologist Constantin L. Parhon in depth. After 30 years of clinical experiments, he had decided that ageing was an illness that was treatable. “If a human being dies before his time, this early death must be due to illness and illnesses can be healed.” Parhon was the Director of the Institute for Endocrinology in Bucharest. Once a month, Ana went to the capital city to speak to him. Parhon was a pioneer of Gerontology. He believed in the possibility of “rejuvenation” and argued that life was not a process that went in one direction only. He treated his patients with epiphytic plant extracts and glandular substances, with Insulin and Vitamin E. In 1909, he published his first book about Endocrinology, 1955 the “Biology of Ageing” was published, and was translated into many different languages. The wish to overcome death may seem unrealistic or belong to the sphere of religion, rather than serious science. Its actual potential, however, is the belief that the world can be changed for the better. It was this opinion which Ana Aslan and Constantin L.Parhon shared and which really did lead to results in their experiments which died not lead to eternal life, but slowed down the ageing process and kept people more human and vital.


Parhon translated his opinions into actions in his political life as well. On the 2nd of April 1948, he became the Head of State of the People's Republic of Rumania.


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