Test no. 1: Radio-immuno assay. Dr. Werner Baumgartner, Los Angeles. May 1996
The first test was conducted by Dr. Werner Baumgartner at Psychemedics Corporation, Los Angeles. The radio-immuno assay involved examination of 20 hairs to see if Beethoven received any opiate painkillers during the last months of his life. A negative result was obtained, indicating that these hairs did not contain any evidence to support ingestion of morphine or other forms of opiates (such as laudanum). Morphine has a long and historic use as a pain-killer, sedative, treatment for fever, and anti-diarrhea medicine in Europe. The Encyclopedia of Medical History notes that "Before 1870, European medicine regarded opium as a virtual panacea."
Beethoven received over 75 bottles of medicine and numerous medicinal powders from his physician Dr. Andreas Wawruch (1771-1842) while he was on his deathbed. According to Anton Schindler (Beethoven's secretary), Dr. Wawruch "ruined him [Beethoven] with too much medication" and Beethoven lost confidence in the doctor. There is no record of which medicines Wawruch prescribed for Beethoven. (See the standard biography of Beethoven, Thayer's Life of Beethoven, ed. Elliot Forbes, rev. ed., Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1967, p. 1031.)