Medicine: Doctors' Riot

One spring Sunday in 1788, a small boy climbed up a ladder behind New York Hospital and peeked into the dissecting room where doctors were studying the anatomy of corpses. To shoo the child away, so the story goes, a doctor went to the window, brandished a human arm and severely declared: "It's your mother's!"

Whatever actually happened, the frightened child's babbling was followed by the famous, bloody Doctors' Riot. It was described last week to the New York State Medical Society meeting in Manhattan by Dr. Claude Heaton of Bellevue Hospital in...

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