Jackie Duffin

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Jackie Duffin
Born Jacalyn Mary Duffin
(1950-06-09) June 9, 1950 (age 64)
Residence Kingston, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Education 1985 Doctorat du 3e c. Sorbonne, History and Philosophy of Science (PhD)
1985 Diplôme de l'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, IV Section, Paris
1983 D.E.A.Paris-I-Sorbonne, France
1979 F.R.C.P.(C) Internal medicine
1979 F.R.C.P.(C) Hematology
1979 C.S.P.Q. Hématologie
1974 M.D. University of Toronto
Occupation Professor in the History of Medicine, Hematologist
Known for Medical evidence of miracle which helped canonize Marie-Marguerite d'Youville
Notable work(s) Medical Miracles: Doctors, Saints and Healing in the Modern World, Oxford University Press, 2009
History of Medicine: a Scandalously Short Introduction, University of Toronto Press, 1999; Macmillan, 2000
Title Hannah Chair, History of Medicine
Relatives Ross Duffin
Awards W.F. Connell Award for Teaching Excellence, Annual Lectureship Award, First Year Medicine, Class of 2009 (shared with Dr C. Reifel, Anatomy)

Jacalyn Mary "Jackie" Duffin (born 1950) is a Canadian medical historian and hematologist. She holds the Hannah Chair, History of Medicine at Queen's University. Formerly, she was President of the American Association for the History of Medicine and Canadian Society for the History of Medicine.[1] From 1993-1995 she was Associate Dean Undergraduate Studies and Education at Queen's University. She is most well known for her testimony which led to the canonization of Marie-Marguerite d'Youville. As of 2010, she has published eight books (as author and editor) on the history of medicine and has written numerous articles on various subjects relating to the history of medicine, miracles, and hematology.


Duffin completed her MD from the University of Toronto . Soon after this, she moved to Paris where she elected to study hematology and René Laennec at the Sorbonne. She completed her PhD in the History of Medicine in 1985, she then returned to Canada.

Marie-Marguerite D'Youville[edit]

Upon her return to Canada, Duffin settled in Ottawa where she took on a contract to review a set of slides, which she assumed were to be used in a malpractice suit.[2] She was given no information about the patient, but identified the young woman as suffering from acute myeloblastic leukemia, “the most aggressive leukemia known.”[2] As the slides were from some 5+ years earlier, she assumed the patient as deceased, as that form of leukemia kills usually within two years. Instead, she found that the patient had, after a relapse, gone into remission and was doing well some five years on. Duffin's testimony was to be used by the Vatican to determine whether Marie-Marguerite d'Youville (1701 – 1771) had performed a miracle and was worthy of canonization. According to Duffin, “They never asked me to say this was a miracle. They wanted to know if I had a scientific explanation for why this patient was still alive. I realized they weren’t asking me to endorse their beliefs. They didn’t care if I was a believer or not, they cared about the science.”[2]