The Ether Monument, also known as The Good Samaritan, is a statue and fountain near the northwest corner of Boston
's Public Garden, near the intersection of Arlington
Street and Beacon StreetIt commemorates the use of ether in anesthesia. Its design has been attributed to the Boston architect William Robert Ware and to the sculptor John Quincy Adams
Ward. It is 40 feet (12 m) tall and is the oldest monument in the public garden.
The statue depicts a medical doctor in medieval Moorish-Spanish robe and turban—representing a Good Samaritan—who holds the drooping body of an almost naked man on his left knee. The doctor holds in his left hand a cloth, suggesting the use of ether that would be developed in centuries to come.
The anachronistic use of a Moorish doctor was probably intentional and served to avoid choosing sides in a debate that was raging at the time over who should receive credit for the first use of ether as an anesthetic.A handful of individuals had claimed credit for the discovery of anesthesia, most notably WTG Morton and Charles Thomas Jackson.