Anécdotas del encierro (I). El médico inglés que se negó a ser atendido

Today we open this series by remembering one of the commendable anecdotes that we ever heard about the Sanfermin Running of the Bulls. The most curious aspect of this anecdote is that it largely took place outside the course of the run. The event goes back to the 8th of July, 1977 when a pile-up occurred at the entrance to the bullring, in the passageway leading to the arena. Here, a young man by the name of Joaquín Esparza Sarasíbar lost his life and there were a lot of injured runners who suffered either from suffocation or from some gorings made by the trampling bulls. Among those runners who had received a goring there was an English doctor and anesthetist, Francis McGuinness, who received a goring of some 10 centimeters in the area of his groin.

It is not difficult to image the hubbub in the infirmary room within the bullring after the pile-up, and this is where the Englishman was also brought for treatment. The medical team under Dr. Armendáriz wished to give him immediate treatment as McGuinness was bleeding from his wound. However, he vehemently refused to be treated as he told the medical team that there were other runners in need of more immediate treatment than he was. Not only did he ignore his own wound, but, according to the Logos news agency, he even began to help in the treatment of other runners as he made use of his medical knowledge. Later on, he finally accepted to be treated by the medical team, although he was still insisting that “there were more urgent cases in need of treatment than him”, stated the Logos news agency. In the end, a total of some 100 runners were given treatment of one kind or another in the infirmary and the praiseworthy and humane attitude shown by Francis McGuinness on that eventful day is still remembered by many.