John Barker, MB, ChB, FFARCS, DA, was one of the prolific “Glasgow Group,” comprised of anesthesiologists and neurosurgeons who gave us the Glasgow Coma and Outcomes Scales and contributed so much in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to define the effects of anesthetics on cerebral circulation and intracranial pressure, cerebrovascular dynamics, and management of head injuries. Other neuroanesthesiologists in this group included Drs. Gordon McDowell, William Fitch, and A.M. Harper, whereas the neurosurgical component included W. Bryan Jennett, Samuel Galbraith, and Graham Teasdale.
John Barker was a very reticent Scot, a superb clinician, and a well-published clinician-scientist. His landmark contributions included “Head Injury for the Anesthetist,” coauthored with his colleague and brother-in-law Bill Fitch (1985, Elsevier Science Publishers). John was indeed a devoted family person, with his wife Sheila always by his side. He was well known to the US and the Canadian anesthesiology communities and frequently visited both countries. He and his colleagues from Glasgow made a remarkable contribution to our knowledge base in Anesthesiology. This kind and gentle man will be missed. Dr. Barker passed away February 4th, 2011. Ad Astra!