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(Part 2 of the Refractory Anemia story.) The governor of Puerto Rico at the time, James Rumsey Beverly (1894-1967), ordered an immediate investigation of what he described as described as Rhoads' "confession of murder"./26
This inquiry, however, did not find any convincing evidence that Rhoads had actually intentionally harmed any patients. Rhoads was cleared of wrongdoing for his "parody" letter. The inquiry may have been a whitewash./27
Rhoads himself apologized to his laboratory personnel and claimed the letter had been a joke, but understandably, the Puerto Ricans did not find it particularly funny.../28
The following year, in a concession to Puerto Rican leaders, the US Senate passed a resolution (S.J. Res. 36, 48 US Code §731a) that in all official documents and laws and regulations, the Commonwealth would be referred to as the original Spanish "Puerto" Rico./29
Really! We don't use the then-current Anglicized version "Porto" Rico in part because of Rhoads' letter./30
In today's age of heightened racial sensitivities, it may seem surprising that Rhoads' career did not suffer from this incident. In 1940 he became the director of the Memorial Hospital for Cancer Research in New York, succeeding James Ewing (1886-1943) of Ewing sarcoma fame./31
Later Rhoads became the first director of the merged Sloan-Kettering Institute. His subsequent work in the new field of chemical cancer treatment was considered important enough that on June 27, 1949, he was featured on the cover of Time magazine as a "cancer fighter". /32
(I'm guessing that issue of @TIME didn't sell too well in #SanJuan.)/33
In 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to assassinate US President Harry Truman in Washington, DC, and one of the assassins stated that Rhoads' degrading letter and the sense of being viewed as inferior was influential in motivating them to violent action./34
In 1979, the @AACR established the "Cornelius P. Rhoads Memorial Award" for a promising researcher under the age of 40. If you work at a cancer center, you've probably heard of, or worked with, some of the winners. The @aacr was unaware of the Puerto Rico stuff./35
In 2002, an attorney in Washington DC learned of the award and wrote to the AACR, "Cornelius P. Rhoads is to Puerto Ricans what Josef Mengele is to Jews” There was an investigation by an ethicist at Yale. AACR wisely renamed the award./36
Finally, in 2016, the @WHO reclassified #MDS and realized refractory anemia is a crummy term. Patients with MDS don’t just have anemia, and with contemporary therapies like ESA and HMA it isn’t always refractory. Plus there's the association with Rhoads./37
'Refractory anemia' is misleading, but it is not an eponym like #Wegener or #Reiter - the @ACRheum and other organizations have gotten rid of those eponyms due to the moral failures (and worse) of the people they were named after around the time of the Second World War. /38
So that was the end of refractory anemia – though I still see it sometimes in reports. Old habits die hard.

I wrote a version of this story a couple years ago: sciencedirect.com/science/articl… /39End
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