Tuesday, October 28, 2008
How Healthy are the Candidates
By Jerome Grossman
If you apply for residence in a retirement community you will be required to furnish medical information about your present state of health as well as your complete medical history. That information will determine whether or not you will be accepted.
If you are a candidate for president or vice president of the United States of America, with the responsibilities of commander- in- chief and the duty to execute the will of the Congress or vetoing their bills, there is no requirement that you submit to health examination or furnish medical information.
The health of the four major party nominees should be an important consideration to the voters because some past candidates as well as their doctors have concealed serious ailments that could have affected performance in office. Examples include Senator Tom Eagleton (depression), Senator Paul Tsongas (cancer), Senator Bill Bradley(heart), Richard Cheney (heart), Senator John F. Kennedy (Addison's disease), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (heart), Woodrow Wilson (stroke) to name only a few. They didn't tell and their doctors didn't either.
In the current election, John McCain has released more details about his health than the other three nominees but not enough for a complete medical history. He has limb difficulty from his Vietnam War injuries and has had extensive melanoma surgeries.
Barack Obama's campaign has released a single page letter from his doctor attesting to his "excellent health", the only possible medical problem is his difficulty in stopping smoking.
Sarah Palin has released no medical information and has declined to provide any health records.
Joseph Biden has had two brain aneurysms for which he had two major operations with a major complication: a blood clot lodged in his lung.
McCain and Biden clearly have medical histories that might affect their abilities to do their jobs. Obama and Palin appear to have no serious problems but the voters have no way to be sure.
Clearly, there ought to be an organized way of checking all aspects of their health and the information ought to be given to the electorate as a condition for a running for office. The authority to use the nuclear bomb ought to be as jealously guarded as admittance to a retirement community.