John Charles Allan Dique MB BS (Madras) FRCPA
- Dooley DJ
- Medical Journal of Australia
John Dique (1915-1995) epitomized the internationalism of medicine, the intellectual and manual dexterity of many pioneers of dialysis, and the social concern evinced by many nephrologists. Born in Burma of French, German, British and Indian ancestry; educated in India; an Anglo-Indian who described himself as British without ever having visited Britain; he moved to Australia in 1948 to escape the murderous inter-ethnic conflict that befell multicultural India as it and Pakistan became independent. Settling in Brisbane, he pioneered several novel medical techniques. After inventing some simple equipment to facilitate intravenous therapy, he established a neonatal exchange blood transfusion programme. Then, between 1954 and 1963, he personally constructed and operated two haemodialysis machines with which to treat patients suffering from acute renal failure, the first such treatment performed in Australasia. His patients survival results were, for the era, remarkable. He subsequently helped found the Royal Australasian College of Pathologists and went on to establish a successful private pathology practice. The latter years of his life, however, saw him become a social and political advocate. He fiercely opposed the emerging ideologies of multiculturalism and social liberalism that, he predicted, would seriously damage the national fabric of Western society. Public vilification ensued, his medical achievements disregarded. It does seem likely, however, that in none of the areas that he touched - whether medical, social, or political - has the last word yet been said.