Chance, Sir Arthur Gerald (1859–1928), surgeon, was born 15 June 1859 in Dublin, one of at least two sons of Albert Chance, engineer, a Londoner, and Elizabeth Mary Chance (née Fleming) of Dublin. He was educated at the Catholic University medical school, Dublin, and was admitted licentiate (1880) and elected fellow (1891) of the RCSI.
Appointed surgeon (1884–6) at the Charitable Infirmary, Jervis St., and subsequently (1886–1926) at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, he earned a reputation for his clinical teaching and his skill in the administration of gas and ether anaesthesia. Committed to furthering the interests of the medical profession, he took a leading role in medical education and was a member of the committee of management and board of examiners established under the medical act of 1886. A council member, he was elected president (1904–6) of the RCSI, and served as its representative to the general medical council almost continuously from 1911 to 1927. As a member of many of its committees, including the penal cases committee, he was noted for the breadth of his knowledge, his strongly held opinions, and his clarity of exposition. He presented a valuable report on the preliminary education of medical students (1912), and later safeguarded their position by opposing changes in the system of medical registration after the establishment of the Irish Free State, thereby ensuring that medical qualifications from Irish colleges were recognised on the same basis as those throughout the British empire. Examiner in surgery (1905, 1906) to Dublin University and to the RCSI (1893–5, 1896–9), he was president of the Irish Medical Schools and Graduates' Association.
He held many positions, including consulting surgeon at Dr Steevens' Hospital, Dublin, St Michael's Hospital, Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire), Co. Dublin, and the Orthopaedic Hospital of Ireland, and was hon. consulting surgeon on orthopaedics to the ministry of pensions, 'medical visitor in lunacy' under the high court, and 'surgeon in ordinary' to the lord lieutenant of Ireland (1892–5, 1906–15). An indefatigable worker, he enjoyed a European-wide reputation and published papers in professional journals. He received many honours: elected vice-president of the Leinster branch and president (1903–4) of the Dublin division of the British Medical Association, he was chairman of the Irish Nursing Board and subsequently a member of the first General Nursing Council for Ireland (1919–24), and president of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (1921–4). Knighted in 1905, he was elected hon. FRCS, Edinburgh; hon. FRCPI (1914) – a rare honour for a surgeon; and senator (1914) of the NUI.
During the first world war as temporary colonel in the RAMC, he was inspector of military surgical hospitals (1917–20) in the Irish command and an adviser to the war office. On the death (1919) of his father-in-law, William Martin Murphy (qv), he became an energetic director of Independent Newspapers, and in 1925 was an unsuccessful candidate for election to Seanad Éireann. His brother P. A. Chance (qv) was MP for Kilkenny South. He died 26 July 1928 at his home, 42 Merrion Sq., Dublin, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. He married first (1886) Martha Rooney (d. 1891), and secondly (1900) Eileen Murphy. With his two wives he had eight sons and five daughters. Three of his sons and one daughter entered the medical profession; his daughter Dr Alice Carleton taught anatomy at Oxford University and was elected president of the British Association of Dermatologists, and his son Arthur Chance (qv) was professor of surgery (1929–46) at the RCSI.