Sawbones: Fasting


This week on Sawbones, Justin and Sydnee finally kick the eating habit as they explore the often-disturbing history of fasting.

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Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Dr Kellogg

What! No mention of Dr Harvey Kellogg? Yes the guy that made the corn flakes had a crazy wellness "spa" as well. If you haven't seen the Road to Wellville you really need to. (Then do an episode on Dr. Kellogg)

Linda Hazzard

Stuff You Missed in History also covered our friend Dr (?) Linda on an episode. Your mention of the murky rationale behind the WA governor's pardon sparked my interest. I found an explanation in an article by attorney Ron Perey, "Murder by Medical Malpractice," that explains the decision as follows:

"Washington Governor Ernest Lister granted her a full pardon in 1915, in return for her promise to leave the State of Washington. Apparently, he wanted her out of Washington because of the continuing publicity and pressure from her 'friends.'"


As a side note, in respect to Claire's seemingly poor judgement in handing over executorship and inheritance rights to Hazzard, it is hardly surprising given that severe nutritional deprivation impacts brain function and, ultimately, critical thinking and decision making(as the brain requires fats in its functioning; the body is using those fats to convert into energy to just keep itself alive - any reserves are used by the heart, etc).
As a result, treatments for anorexics usually prioritize medical and nutritional stabilization prior to in depth psychological interventions, as it is difficult for patients to recognize the severity and consequences of their behavior when they are not meeting their needs from a physiological stand point. Additionally, given that Claire was surrounded by zealots convinced that starvation would heal her, and her own convictions in this respect, I imagine it would be almost impossible for her to employ rational thinking that would lead her anywhere but to hand over her legal rights and property to Hazzard.

Another Topic Suggestion

Hello! Ever thought about doing an episode on acupuncture? It actually has a rather lengthy history here in the United States (Franklin Bache was treating patients ... well, prisoners ... with acupuncture in Philadelphia in the 1820s).

Topic suggestion

Have you ever thought about doing a show on medical dwarfism? Explanations for it historically are probably pretty ludicrous. As a patient myself, I know modern growth hormone replacement therapies can help some people. I've also heard in the past of people repeatedly having leg bones broken and reset a little longer hoping to gain a few inches in height. Might just be a story. This topic may be too broad or sensitive. I understand. It's just been on my mind for a long time. Really really love the show!