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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


CERDA L, Jaime. Charles II of Spain, «the bewitched». Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2008, vol.136, n.2, pp.267-270. ISSN 0034-9887.

The death of King Charles II, «the Bewitched», ended two centuries of sovereignity of the Habsburg dynasty in Spain. Since his birth in 1661, he presented a peculiar set of physical, psychiatric and behavioral signs, such as respiratory and diarrheal diseases, recurrent seizures and deep developmental delay. It was not until his adulthood when his infertility became evident, being incapable of conceiving a heir, even though he married twice. Such a constellation of ominous signs motivated a curious investigation, which concluded that the king was hexed at the age of 14 years in order to take away his throne, his health and his capacity to procreate. Based on contemporary medical knowledge, it is possible that Charles IIhad a rare autosomal recessive inherited genopathy asa consequence of the frequent inbreeding among his ancestors. On the other hand, its is also possible that Charles IIpresented Klinefelter Syndrome, the most frequent sex chromosome disorder in humans and the most common cause of hypogonadism and infertility in males. The hypothesis that Charles II was bewitched reflects a deep belief in supernatural phenomena among the Castilian society at the beginning of the 18th century, an idea transmitted across generations, currently present in many societies worldwide

Palabras clave : Genetic diseases; inborn; Klinefelter syndrome; Witchcraft.

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