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Edward Lawson McDonald (“Lawson”) was educated at Mourne Grange Preparatory School; Felsted School; Clare College, Cambridge; the Middlesex Hospital; and Harvard University.
After junior appointments he served as surgeon lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) in the second world war on HMS Glasgow and was involved in the North Atlantic and Normandy campaigns.
After demobilisation Lawson worked at the National Heart and the Middlesex Hospitals. He was awarded a Rockefeller travelling fellowship in medicine by the Medical Research Council in 1952 and worked as assistant in medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston, and research fellow in medicine at Harvard University with Dr Lewis Dexter. Here he started work on valvar heart disease. After returning to England he was appointed in 1953 assistant director at the Institute of Cardiology of the University of London under the directorship of Dr Paul Wood, and assistant physician at the National Heart Hospital.
Here he began research into blood platelets and fibrinogen in coronary heart disease. In 1960 he was appointed consultant physician to the cardiac department of the Royal London Hospital, and in 1961 he was appointed consultant cardiologist at the National Heart Hospital and senior lecturer at the Institute of Cardiology, University of London. He was also consultant cardiologist to King Edward VII's Hospital for Officers, London, from 1968 to 1988, and consultant cardiologist to King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst, from 1970 to 1992.
Lawson was a member or chairman of many committees and travelled extensively world wide on lecture tours. He was adviser to the Malaysian government on cardiac services and was made a member of the Most Honourable Order of the Crown of Johore in 1980. He made numerous contributions to learned journals.
His recreations were art, skiing, mountain walking, and sailing. He is survived by his son, James, and by Patricia, his companion for many years.