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Semmelweis University Gallery

 

Babics, Antal

 

(B. Lovászpatona, 4th August 1902. – D. Budapest, 17th January 1992.)

Dean: 1948/49 - 1949/50, 1955/56 - 1958/59

Antal Babics was born the eighth son to a baker father. His secondary schooling took place in Győr and then in the Pápa St. Benedictine Secondary School. Pecuniary problems made him work as a merchant apprentice and agricultural worker. An eminent final exam saw him commence his studies at the Medical Faculty of the Budapest University in 1922. Five years later he graduated and started working at the surgery departments of the Kaposvár and Győr public hospitals. In 1929 Babics received his doctor’s degree and was employed by the Clinic of Urology (then still under St. Rókus Hospital in Budapest). Here he worked as an intern until 1932, then as assistant lecturer till 1938.

In 1936/37 he was admitted to the Berlin Collegium Hungaricum, which was then followed by his studying renal anatomy in Italy and Warsaw. In 1938 Babics received the title of senior lecturer, then, on 22 February 1940, that of habilitated lecturer in the field of "Everyday urology practices”. He was deputy professor in 1940/41, then was appointed to lead the clinic after professor Géza Illyés had retired, and stayed in office till 1943. Between 1943-45 he was unpaid senior lecturer of the 3rd Surgery Clinic. Also, in the rank of captain, he headed surgery and urology at the Budapest garrison hospital in the 10th district (later known as Honvéd Hospital). Antal Babics was appointed university professor on 2 November 1945 and took over the leadership of the Urology Clinic on 1st February 1946.

He became member of the national peasant party, then that of the communist party and later joined the Hungarian workers’ party that had been formed from the latter. For two years from 1948. Babics was dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Sciences, then that of the Department of General Medicine of the now independent Medical University, for four years from 1955. First becoming correspondent member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences from 31 October 1949, Babics became regular member from 2 December 1950, also serving as secretary of the Department of Medical Sciences between 1959-67. Having played a main role in organizing the National Central Hospital-Clinic in Kútvölgyi street, he fulfilled its head position for three years from 1950.

In 1956, between 26-31 October, Babics was the Minister of Health in the first government of Imre Nagy. For two parliamentary cycles between 24 February 1963 - 10 February 1971. Antal Babics was member of parliament getting mandates first on the Budapest list of the Patriotic Popular Front, then in the individual constituency of the 23rd district. Babics was president of the National Medical and Health Trade Union between 1963 – 1975, then honorary president from 1985 until his death. He retired in 1974. His practical and scientific focus were: pathological, internal and surgical treatment of traumatological, infectious and tumorous diseases of the renal cavity system, the renal pelvis and the urinary tract.

Antal Babics achieved internationally acclaimed results in his research on the pathology and physiology of renal failure, - obstruction, - ectasia, - pyogenesis, - artery deformation, uraemia, as well as on the surgical removal of renal calculus and the physiological process of its development. He demonstrated the central role of lymphatic circulation in the development of infectious diseases of the kidney and even held his inaugural speech in this field at the Academy on 20 March 1950.

He intensely studied the pathology of gonorrhea and its treatment with cibazol while carrying out clinical research on the hypertrophy of the prostrate and the hormone treatment of prostrate cancer. In addition to this, in his work and publications he dealt with senile urological deformities, male sterility and artificial insemination as well.

His long life saw him receive numerous awards: Hungarian Order of Merit 5th grade (1950), Kossuth Prize, silver grade (1951), Hungarian-Soviet Friendship Society Gold Wreath Medal (1952, 1970), Order of Merit of Work (1954, 1958, 1970 Gold Class), Outstanding Medical Doctor (1960), Certificates of Merit of the Soviet Military Headquarters Temporarily Based in Hungary (1964, 1966, 1970), Commemorative Liberation (1970), Medal of Merit for Peace (1970), Trade Union Commemorative Gold Medal (1970, 1972), Order of the Flag of Hungarian People’s Republic 2nd Class (1974), Order of the Flag of HPR with Rubies (1982).

Scientific awards: commemorative medals: Sándor Korányi (1969), Géza Illyés (1970), Pál Bugát (1972); awards: Endre Hőgyes (1972), Markusovszky (1978).

Babics was editor of Acta Urologica, a professional journal of the Budapest University between 1947 and 1949, and that of Acta Chirurgica (1st ed. 1962) later to become Acta Chirurgica Hungarica (after 1983). Besides, he was head of the editorial board of International Urology and Nephrology, both published in Hungary.

The Society of Hungarian Urologists and Nephrologists chose him to be president for life, and Antal Babics was also honorary member of the Jan Evangelista Purkyně Czecho-Slovakian Medical Society, the Soviet Surgical Society, the Austrian Society of Urology, the Polish Fellowship of Urologists and the Romanian Urological Society. In 1965 he was chosen honorary member of the Medical Academy of the Soviet Union. He was also correspondent member of the Italian Association of Urology, and Hungarian delegate of the International Urological Society; founding member of the Korányi Society and that of the Collége International des Chirurgiens.

He had a wide range of social activities that were not restricted to his profession.

He became co-president of the Drivers’ Club, and board member of the Hungarian Anglers’s Society. The Antal Babics Award named after him is bestowed biennially on young doctors who have achieved remarkable scientific results.

(Major works: Treatment of uraemia resulting from surgical renal diseases. In: Magyar Urológia (Hungarian Urology), 1938.; The significance of pain in diseases of the kidneys. In: Magyar Urológia, 1940.; The question of water circulation and uraemia in surgical renal diseases. Bp. Eggenberger. 1942.; Deformed arteries in pathological kidneys. In: Orvosok Lapja (Hungarian Medical Journal), 1945.; Lymphatic circulation of the kindneys. Az MTA Orvosi Tudományok Osztályának Közleményei (Publications of the Department of Medical Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences) 1950.; Urology, Budapest, Facoulty Of Medicine, Administration, 1950; Surgery and pathophysiology of the renal cavity system. / co-author: Ferenc Rényi-Vámos / Bp. Akadémiai (Academic Publishing House) 1950.; Urology: University textbook. Bp. Tankönyvkiadó. 1950.; Clinical practice and theory of nephronecrosis. /co-author: Ferenc Rényi-Vámos / Bp. Akadémiai. 1952.; Principles of the clinical practice and surgical solutions of renal calculi. Bp., 1954.; Lymphatic circulation of the kidneys. Bp. 1956.; Uraemia Bp. Medicina. 1959. In: A Gyakorló Orvos Könyvtára.; Some questions of modern renal surgery. Bp., 1962.; Clinical and theoretical pictures of some renal diseases. /co-author: Ferenc Rényi-Vámos / Bp. Akadémiai. 1964.;

Urology: University textbook . Bp. Medicina. 1965.; Géza Illés. Bp. Akadémiai. 1972. In: A Múlt Magyar Tudósai (Hungarian Scientist of the Past).; Anuria: Therapeutic experiences. /co-author: Ferenc Rényi-Vámos / Bp. Akadémiai. 1972.; Intraoperative diagnosis of deceptive pathological cases in urology. Bp. Akadémiai. 1977. (in Russian 1984.); Lymphography in urogenital diseases. /co-author: Dezső Frang / Bp. Akadémiai. 1987. (in English 1990.);