Medical scholars still debate the exact level of negligence and culpability of the three separate doctors, who in the span of just twelve hours, drained the dying George Washington of five pints of blood. Washington was actually suffering from some form of a throat infection, the swelling of which was choking off his air supply, but each doctor believed that Washington needed to shed more blood. Although one younger doctor suggested performing a tracheotomy to ease Washington's breathing, such a new and unusual surgery was actually considered to be more barbaric than bloodletting. We'll never know if Washington's throat infection was enough to kill the man independent of his massive blood loss, but it is safe to say that at the very least, the doctors' reverence for phlebotomy kept them from treating the swelling and infection in a more direct manner