Sad Farewell to Professor Clement Finch

Posted July 21st, 2010 by webadmin

CLEMENT FINCH – A man who, together with Professor T. Bothwell of South Africa, co-wrote many articles and figured prominently in the early history of the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society and its international affiliates.

The Canadian Hemochromatosis Society has been saddened by news of the death of Professor Clement Finch who died at age 94 on June 28, 2010, at his home in La Jolla, San Diego, California. An American physician and researcher who made pioneering discoveries in the field of hematology, particularly in regard to how the body absorbs and uses iron, he also investigated iron’s role in such disorders as anemia and hemochromatosis (HHC), conditions in which there is too little iron in the blood or too much iron in the body. His discoveries led to better nutritional guidance and treatment of these conditions.

At a stage when some physicians were irked by Marie Warder’s reference to HHC as the “bronze killer”, he generously lent credibility to her work and the societies she had established by referring to HHC as “The Bronze Killer” in the Western Journal of Medicine, in September 1990. In that same editorial, Finch wrote: “A strong case can be made for incorporating measurements of the plasma iron, iron-binding capacity and ferritin into the routine blood screen. Without such a survey, there is little hope of recognizing hemochromatosis at a time when treatment has the greatest promise.”  He also notes: “Societies have been formed whose mission is to disseminate information about the “bronze killer”. . . Their information program is so effective that the people they reach are sometimes far better informed than their physicians.” (Finch, Clement (September 1990)). “Hemochromatosis” Treatment is Easy, Diagnosis is Hard”.

The Canadian Hemochromatosis Society continues the work that Marie Warder began and in 2010 is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Our sincere condolences are extended to his family.