This Is How Doctors Killed George Washington

He didn't stand a chance.

George Washington's extraordinary legacy as a hero of the Revolutionary War and the first president of the United States has endured throughout the history of the country. While even kindergarteners can recite some of the most commonly known details of his life, not many people know how he died. 

While most people might assume that Washington died of natural causes, he actually bled to death at the age of 67. It wasn't from a vicious attack or tragic accident: he wanted his doctors to make the wounds that ultimately led to his demise.

Washington, like many other people living in the late 18th century, was an advocate of blood-letting. This involves making incisions and draining "bad blood" from the body. Unfortunately for our beloved first president, his doctors didn't have anything close to the knowledge of physiology and germ theory that doctors have today. In trying to be thorough and get rid of all the blood they thought was making him sick, they ended up taking way too much.

SciShow host Hank Green details the series of events that led to Washington's untimely demise.


Cover image: Shutterstock


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