Monday, May 21, 2007

We were so close

Apparently we were only about 142 years or a time machine away from saving Abraham Lincoln's life.

The Historical Clinicopathological Conference, a group that apparently diagnoses famous dead people with diseases like syphylis (Beethoven!) or typhoid fever complicated by Guillain-Barre syndrome (Alexander the Great!) and this time decided if they could have saved Lincoln's life. Their verdict? Sort of.
If he had lived, he would at the very least have been partially blind, unsteady on his feet, numb in certain regions of his body and inarticulate. Nevertheless, he might have been able to think and, after much rehabilitation, communicate.
Hmm, unsteady on his feet, numb in certain regions, inarticulate yet still able to think and communicate with much effort. I'm reminded of someone....

Clearly it would have been possible for him to continue on as president in 2007 as well! As soon as we get a time machine I'm bringing Brain-Damaged Lincoln back.

But, really though, isn't this kind of a dumb article? I mean, where do we draw the line? Are we going to cure James K. Polk's tuberculosis or William Henry Harrison's pleurisy? Hell, Zachary Taylor basically died from heat stroke. We've found a cure for that by now, right?

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