To committing scientific theft in medical history: who discovered the pulmonary blood circulation: Ibn Nafis or William Harvey?

Saeed Changizi Ashtyani, Mohsen Shamsi



Introduction: The theory of pulmonary circulation took more than 1000 years to come into existence as we know it today. Methods: In this descriptive study, an attempt was made to gain access to reliable sources for investigating various opinions regarding the earliest discovery of pulmonary blood circulation.

Results: After the rediscovery of Ibn Nafis' manuscript no.62243 titled “Sharah al Tashreeh al Qanoon”, or "Commentary on the anatomy of Canon of Avicenna" in 1924 AD in Europe, it became clear that Ibn Nafis had described the pulmonary circulation almost 300 years before Harvey, and the historians like Aldo Mieli, Max Mayrhoff, Edward Coppola etc. clearly state that Ibn Nafis should be given the credit for the discovery of the pulmonary circulation.

Conclusion: According to the results over the false theories during the medical history which there has been some exploration of their Muslim medicine attributed mistakenly to the scientists European that this considered theft and away from medical ethics.


Scientific theft; History of medicine; Medical ethics; Ibn Nafis; pulmonary blood circulation

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