Presidential Health and Illness throughout History: Bloodletting, Bad Cherries and Ballistics

It is remarkable how often American presidents, the most powerful individuals on the planet, have received uneven health care. This course will examine the illnesses, some trivial and some serious, of our chief executives. Assassinations and attempted assassinations will be discussed in detail. The political consequences and cover-ups of presidential illnesses will also be analyzed. The role of presidential physicians and their contributions to both the health and illnesses of our commanders-in-chief will be critiqued. Finally, we will discuss proposals that have been considered to evaluate and disclose the health histories of presidential candidates as well as the implications and current applications of the Presidential Disability Act of 1967.

Class Recordings:

Class 1 - February 1

Class 2 - February 8 - Recording unavailable

Class 3 - February 15

Class 4 - February 22

Class 5 - March 1

Class 6 - March 8

Venue: Online
Meets on: Tuesdays 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Starting: 2/1/2022
Sessions: 6
Class Size: 50
Teaching Style: Lecture with questions
Weekly Preparation: Optional, 0 - 3 hours
Group Leader Biography:

Kevin R. Loughlin is an emeritus professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School. He practiced urologic surgery in Boston for 35 years. He received an A.B. from Princeton University, M.D. from New York Medical College, M.A.(Hon) from Harvard University, and a M.B.A. from Boston University. He is the author of over 300 articles in the medical literature and the author or editor of 12 books. He has also lectured and published extensively on presidential health issues in both the medical and lay literature including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the New England Journal of Medicine.