Moisès Broggi i Vallès (1908-2012)
Dr. Moisès Broggi i Vallès, who passed away at age 104 on the last day of the year, was a renowned Catalan surgeon who during the Civil War headed up in the surgical unit serving the International Brigades. Politically active from an early age and almost until the very end, Dr. Broggi was a pacifist, a staunch defender of Catalan independence, and a leader in the field of bioethics. This past March, he joined the Catalan National Assembly as a founding member. It would be his last public appearance.
Dr. Broggi earned his medical degree from the University of Barcelona, studying under August Pi i Sunyer and Joan Trias i Pujol. As head of the IB surgical unit, he introduced the mobile operating room, one of the three major medical advances spurred by the Spanish Civil War. (He inspired one of Hemingway’s characters in For Whom the Bell Tolls.) In 1980, Dr. Broggi was a founding member of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), which won de 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2011, he ran for the Catalan senate as a candidate for the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya. Among his publications are two volumes of memoirs: Memòries d’un cirurgià (2001), Anys de plenitud: memòries d’un cirurgià (2005). In 2011, he published a volume of reflections, Reflexions d’un vell centenari.