Presidential Health: Bloodletting to Ballistics

THU, OCT 28, 2004 (1:08:09)

Kevin R. Loughlin traces events involving the health of presidents from George Washington to the present day. He reviews the impairments of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and John Kennedy that were hidden from the public, and describes the gory circumstances of Washington’s demise (he was essentially bled to death). Loughlin also discusses the cardiac history of Dwight Eisenhower, which was misdiagnosed as indigestion by his well-meaning personal physician and friend; a president who underwent secret surgery aboard a yacht in the East River; and some of the medical aspects of the presidential assassinations. Loughlin concludes with an analysis of how presidential health is currently monitored and offers recommendations for the future. Kevin R. Loughlin has been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for over two decades, where he is currently professor of surgery. Throughout his surgical career, he has had an interest in medical history and has written and lectured on this area numerous times. He has had a particular interest in the health of US presidents and the impact of their illnesses on history.

+ BIO: Kevin R. Loughlin

Kevin Loughlin, MD, MBA, completed degrees at Princeton University, New York Medical College, Harvard University, and Boston University. He is currently the director of Urologic Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. He has been selected for “Best Doctors in America” and “Top Doctors” by The Center for the Study of Services in Washington, D.C., and has published more than two hundred articles, abstracts, and letters in prominent publications such as New England Journal of Medicine.

Boston Athenaeum
American Experience: The Presidents Series