“The Radium Water Worked Fine until His Jaw Came Off”

I find that this post has apppeared on Reddit’s “Today I Learnt” page so has had a resulting bumps in viewership… so why not bring it to the attention of my loyal readers on seamussweeney.wordpress.com

A Medical Education

The sad death in March 1932 of Eben Byers led to this headline in the Wall Street Journal.

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From Wikipedia:

In 1927, while returning via chartered train from the annualHarvard–Yale football game, Byers fell from hisberthand injured his arm. He complained of persistent pain and a doctor suggested that he takeRadithor, apatent medicinemanufactured byWilliam J. A. Bailey.[4]Bailey was aHarvard Universitydropout who falsely claimed to be a doctor of medicine and had become rich from the sale of Radithor. Bailey created Radithor by dissolving radium in water to high concentrations, claiming it could cure many ailments by stimulating theendocrine system. He offered physicians a 17% rebate on the prescription of each dose of Radithor.[5]

Byers began taking enormous doses of Radithor, which he believed had greatly improved his health, drinking nearly 1,400 bottles.[6]

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