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Joseph B asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 2 months ago

What Were George Washington's "Doctors" Attempting to Accomplish When They Bled Him to Death?

Was there some perceived benefit in draining away half of the patient's blood supply away?  Were they trying to kill him?  Or were they just ignorant quacks?

4 Answers

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  • ?
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    The practice of bloodletting was based on the theory that diseases were caused by too much blood in the body and so some needed to be drained off.

    In the case of George Washington, he was a believer in bloodletting and after developing a sore throat, asked that get be bled. The doctors removed about 5 pints of blood and he died a few days later.

    It wasn't out of ignorance - bloodletting goes back a couple of thousand years. But practitioners of medicine can't do procedures that haven't been discovered yet.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Even today, patients put their faith and health in the hands of the doctor. There's no evidence of foul play in Washington's case. Doctors then, just like today use what's at their disposal. Typically, the doctor explains what is being proposed, the patient agrees and results are learned. It's crazy for anyone to apply what developed to 'known today' and wonder why doctors didn't do it centuries ago. 

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    A lack of scientific knowledge/ higher education/ understanding was to blame.

    Without science / higher education they wrongly believed that bottled up bad 'humors' and magic 'mists' in the body caused illness...and so if you let out these bad magic 'vapors' by draining out some or most the blood you'd make the person better! lol.

    Just shows what ignorance and lack of high school and college (not to mention medical school) can do for humans.

  • Mog
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    They were just ignorant quacks. 

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