Sir Morell Mackenzie revisited


  • Presented at the Meeting of the Middle Section of the American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc., Madison, WI, January 21, 1984.


The story of Sir Morell Mackenzie and his famous pnticnt, Frederick III, Crown Prince of Germany naturally divides itself into four segments: the physician, his famous patient, the illness, and its consequences both medically and historically.

The circumstances of Frederick's death have affected us all. Medically, the cause of biopsy for carcinoma of the larynx was set back many years. For generations biopsy was considered unnecessary to the diagnosis.

Had Frederick lived and remained Emperor, and had he encouraged Bismarck to continue a more liberal government and constitutional monarchy; had he continued the non-aggression treaty between Russia and Germany; had he honored his pledge to Queen Victoria for a “close and lasting friendship between our two nations,” how different our history might have been.