Pathologist: Doctor killed Beethoven





- Did someone kill Beethoven? A Viennese pathologist claims the composer's physician did — inadvertently overdosing him with lead in a case of a cure that went wrong.

Other researchers are not convinced, but there is no controversy about one fact: The master had been a very sick man years before his death in 1827.

Previous research determined that Beethoven had suffered from lead poisoning, first detecting toxic levels of the metal in his hair and then, two years ago, in bone fragments. Those findings strengthened the belief that lead poisoning may have contributed — and ultimately led — to his death at age 57.

But Viennese forensic expert Christian Reiter claims to know more after months of painstaking work applying CSI-like methods to strands of Beethoven's hair.

He says his analysis, published last week in the Beethoven Journal, shows that in the final months of the composer's life, lead concentrations in his body spiked every time he was treated by his doctor, Andreas Wawruch, for fluid inside the abdomen. Those lethal doses permeated Beethoven's ailing liver, ultimately killing him, Reiter told The Associated Press.


comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:


Randll Reese Besch - 9/5/2007

Reminds me of George Washington's unfortunate demise at the hands of another 'doctor' when he was bled by leeches. Didn't help him in any case.
For the longest time physicians were very dangerous to their patients.

Subscribe to our mailing list