George Washington suddenly fell ill with a sore throat and labored breathing at his estate in 1799. Initial management consisted of a "mixture of molasses, vinegar and butter," that was followed by “sage, tea and vinegar.” With no signs of clinical improvement, his doctors were called to his bedside. As was standard medical care at the time and thought to be beneficial in various afflictions, he was “bleed” more than 2L of blood in an attempt to restore his good health. The three doctors overseeing the bleeding process noticed the General become weaker despite their best efforts. His breathing became more labored and he passed shortly after his treatment.
Naro, MD, MEd, Gillian and Flamer, MD, Marie-Laure
"The Laws of the Dead,"
The Medicine Forum: Vol. 23, Article 17.
Available at: https://jdc.jefferson.edu/tmf/vol23/iss1/17