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September 17, 1932


JAMA. 1932;99(12):1005-1006. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740640047021

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Poisoning by Yew Tree Leaves  An inmate of Maudsley Hospital met his death in a manner which was new to the authorities. He was an insurance company secretary, aged 26, who was admitted as a voluntary patient for a nervous breakdown. On the lawn in front of the veranda where he slept was a yew tree, and a considerable quantity of the leaves were found in his alimentary canal. At the inquest Dr. Creed, pathologist, said that the man's normal behavior, the fact that he had a meal before his collapse, suggested that he was not aware of the danger of yew tree leaves, which might not be unpleasant to the palate. The quantity found in his stomach was not consistent with casual chewing. Dr. Tennent, deputy medical superintendent of Maudsley Hospital, asked by the coroner why the big tree was not removed, replied that he did not know that

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