Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Verdict In: Bonaparte Died of Cancer

Interesting historic trivia: scientists have concluded that the initial verdict was correct; Napoleon Bonaparte died of gastric cancer, and not from arsenic poisoning as later became the conventional wisdom:

An autopsy at the time determined that stomach cancer was the cause of his death. But some arsenic found in 1961 in the ruler's hair sparked rumors of poisoning. Had Napoleon escaped exile, he could have changed the balance of power in Europe; therefore murder speculations didn't seem outlandish.

However, a new study--combining current medical knowledge, autopsy reports, Bonaparte's physician memoirs, eyewitness accounts, and family medical histories--found that gastrointestinal bleeding was the immediate cause of death.

"This analysis suggests that, even if the emperor had been released or escaped from the island, his terminal condition would have prevented him from playing a further major role in the theater of European history," said lead study author, Robert Genta of University of Texas Southwestern. "Even today, with the availability of sophisticated surgical techniques and chemotherapies, patients with gastric cancer as advanced as Napoleon's have a poor prognosis."

Does this mean the French and British can go back to being friends, again?

Update: QandO covers just what good friends the British and French reportedly almost became!

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1 comment:

Philo-Junius said...

Everyone knows it was a Masonic-Jesuit-Hellfire-Templar-CIA-Mafia-Teamster-Ismaili-British-East-India-Company plot; the cancer was just the cover story.

These physicians are clearly part of the conspiracy.