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Biographical entry Hempel, Arne Christophe Andreas (1931 - 2016)

MB BCh BAO Dublin 1955; DO 1958; MD 1963; MA 1963; FRCS 1969.

6 May 1931
Oslo, Norway
9 December 2016


Arne Christophe Andreas Hempel worked for many years as an ophthalmologist in clinics at the Westminster Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London.

Born in Oslo on 6 May 1931, he was one of five children. He spent much of his early life in Dublin, where his father, Eduard Hempel, a career diplomat, was the German ambassador to the neutral Ireland from 1937 to 1945 - a post that must have required considerable delicacy during the war years.

Andy, as he was known, was schooled in Ireland and qualified MB BCh BAO from Trinity College, Dublin in 1955, where he won several undergraduate prizes. He chose ophthalmology as a specialty and obtained his diploma of ophthalmology in 1958. His research interest led to him gaining an MD in 1963 with a thesis entitled 'The role of the major constituents of normal blood plasma in the maintenance of the intraocular pressure in man' together with a publication on the subject in Experimental Eye Research in 1964 ('The relationship of the major constituents of blood plasma to the intraocular pressure during phasic variations and ammonium chloride administration' Exp Eye Res. 1964 Mar;3:85-97). Later in 1963 he was awarded an MA from Trinity.

Throughout his working life, he battled bravely with a severe physical disability which limited his mobility and made surgery for him very difficult to undertake. Nevertheless, he took and passed the FRCS in 1969 which, although he did not operate, gave him considerable standing as an out-patient officer in the various ophthalmic clinics where he worked until his retirement.

Andy died on 9 December 2016 at the age of 85. Always a private individual with a keen interest in music, particularly the piano, he is remembered as a competent ophthalmologist, charming and helpful, with a wry sense of humour.

Timothy ffytche

Sources used to compile this entry: [Trinity College, Dublin and past colleagues].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England