Publication information
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Source: Medical Sentinel
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “President McKinley’s Operation”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 9
Issue number: 10
Pagination: 329

“President McKinley’s Operation.” Medical Sentinel Oct. 1901 v9n10: p. 329.
full text
William McKinley (death: personal response); William McKinley (medical care: personal response); William McKinley (surgery).
Named persons
William McKinley.


President McKinley’s Operation

     “The operation was eminently successful, but the patient is dead,” is an old saying too often used by the uninitiated as a term of reproach against the surgeon. That the operation can be eminently successful, and the patient still die, has been illustrated in the sudden and unexpected death of President McKinley. All that surgical skill could do was done, and the patient was placed in a position that not only made his recovery possible, but very probable.
     Behind every pathological condition, however, which the physician is called upon to treat is that unknown personal equation, which, other things being equal, determines the final result. Why in the case of one a violent peritonitis intervenes, in another no reaction, while in still another gangrene and death of the tissues, depends not so much on the agent as the individual. The President’s treatment can in no way reflect on the progress of surgery in this country, or the skill of our surgeons. That portion of his injury which was amenable to surgical skill was promptly and thoroughly met, and only to that still unknown factor can his death be attributed.



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