Based on past exhibits at the Mütter Museum, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. For more information please visit: http://www.collphyphil.org/.
Despite historical predictions that infectious diseases would wane, new ones are emerging and old enemies have reappeared.
The battle against infectious diseases, once thought to have been won, has only just begun. By understanding the interaction between humans and microbes, we can effectively combat these often deadly attacks. Just how vulnerable are we? What are the lessons learned from the past?
This exhibit compares the public image of U.S. presidents with their private medical concerns. It raises the political and ethical issue of how much the public should know about the chief executive's health, and asks, "Do truths hidden from the public serve a greater good, or should we know everything?"
The exhibit demonstrates how politics has frequently dictated presidential policy on revealing medical information, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1955 heart attack, and John F. Kennedy's Addison's disease. It focuses on real events in which the health of a sitting president has influenced, or is suspected of having influenced, the course of history.
Explore the history of presidential health and the clash between political policy and public disclosure.