Born: August 4, 1837

Died: January 13, 1904

Dr. Peter Dettweiler a patient of Dr. Hermann Brehmer's tuberculosis sanatorium in Germany. In 1876 he opened his own sanatorium, Heilanstalt Falkenberg in Hesse, Germany. Dettweiler emphasized rest rather than exercise. Brehmer and Dettweiler's work was the primary influence on Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau in establishing the successful Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium in the 1880s.

Gerhard Buchwald M.D. The Decline of Tuberculosis despite "Protective" Vaccination, 2004, pp. 37-39 (Full text here)

[Brehmer's sanatorium] Gorbersdorf needed to be enlarged. Brehmer needed an assistant. He found him in his former patient Peter Dettweiler (1837-1904). Brehmer was eleven years older than Dettweiler. At first they worked together in Gorbersdorf, but then Brehmer felt that a young doctor needed to go into the world to gather experiences and to find out what was happening in other parts of the world. Dettweiler consequently arrived in England where the first facility for the treatment of lung patients had already been opened in 1814, nearly fifty years earlier than Gorbersdorf. The British did not subscribe to the idea of mismatched heart-and lung sizes; they also had no exercise programmes but kept their patients in bed.

On his return from England to Gorbersdorf Dettweiler informed his superior of the English approach to lung patients, which he felt was correct. As is often the case when old heads are confronted with new ideas, Dettweiler's viewpoint was not appreciated and he was dismissed…

Dr. Dettweiler was undoubtedly a remarkable man. Many of his views and ideas have remained valid until modern times. It was Dr. Dettweiler who came up with the idea that every tuberculosis case should be treated and healed in the area where it had originated. The "spit bottle" which became mandatory in all lung sanatoriums was his invention. The term "Chefarzt" (medical director), now used in all branches of medicine to designate the leader of a medical institution, was also coined by him.

From the very beginning, he adopted the English treatment method and from it developed the "Liegekur" (rest cure). Between breakfast and lunch, from lunch until the afternoon coffee break and from the coffee break until the evening meal patients were (at least initially) required to rest in bed. He summed up his principles for the treatment of lung patients as follows:

"The exclusive purpose of the rest cure is to achieve - respectively to force - by means of personal hygiene and diet, constant instruction, supervision, example, fixed daily routine and last but not least the personality of the doctor, a lifestyle matching the actual capacity of the patient."