Thursday, September 25, 2008

Being Physically Prepared to Lead II

At Duckpond wmmbb has written a wonderful thoughtful provactive piece that I highly recommend. Included there is a letter that I have added here by Dr. Michael D. Fratkin.

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

John McCain is a 72 year old man with recurrent melanoma, hyperlipidemia, degenerative joint disease, and recurrent difficulty with certain efforts at recall. These are the limited facts the American people have had access to. Over 1000 pages of medical records were shown to selected journalists for 3 hours with less than 48 hours of notice. The only medically trained journalist was Sanjay Gupta, MD from CNN. This is the extent to which the American people have been informed.

While I am certainly sensitive to the confidential nature of medical records given the anxiety expressed by many of my patients regarding the risk of lost coverage or lost jobs in this current health economic climate, there are certain exceptions for disclosure regarding public safety. As John McCain knows, a pilot’s records are comprehensively available for review by a certifying agency (the FAA, I believe) to insure the fitness of the pilot and the safety of passengers and the public at-large. In the election of the President of the United States of America, that certifying body is the American electorate.

A recurrence of metastatic malignant melanoma would essentially destroy John McCain’s capacity as the Chief Executive and the American people have yet to receive a full accounting of the facts regarding his actuarial risk. If he has had regional metastasis, his risk could be 30% or greater for distant metastasis to the brain, bone, and lung. As you all know, melanoma is one of the most insidious, pernicious, and aggressive malignancies our patients must deal with and that we attempt somewhat pathetically to control with interferon, interleukins, and dismally active and terribly toxic chemotherapeutic regimens. In addition, we lack the simple data to sensibly evaluate his cardiovascular risk as we would any septuagenerian in our exam rooms.

John McCain should be held accountable by the American people and its agents, the free press, to release without restriction the entirety of his medical records. Any hesitation to do so would clearly imply that there are significant medical concerns about his ability to fulfill the duties of the President.


Michael D. Fratkin, MD
Internal Medicine
Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Eureka, California


Anonymous said...

This Dr. is a piece of shit.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that exploits people just because they had cancer is a piece of garbage. Have you had your colon checked lately. Dr. Dirtbag Fratkin!!!!!!!!!1

John O'Leary said...

Right on, Anon (and elegantly stated). Besides, if something dreadful happened to Johnny Mac as President we'd have a highly-educated, maximally-qualified, fully experienced, independent-thinking, seasoned national leader ready to take over the reins of the proverbial dog sled - without blinking! (Not to mention that she's been cleansed of Satan.) Hey, on a clear day she can even see Russia.

judith ellis said...

Brilliant response, John. Need I say more? But allow me to say that this does not seem like country first. Had it actually been country first John McCain's VP selection would have been definitely different. It's John McCain first, as was so sadly obvious in his interjection into the financial crisis in Washington today. He is sincerely beginning to sadden me. Such antics are simply silly, if they were not so sad and serious.

mark jf said...

If Mr. McCain did get elected and died, and Mrs.Palin surprised us all and didn't rise to the occasion, you can borrow our Prime Minister to see out the term. He has certain advantages: he's an intelligent man, for a start. He's a lousy PM but I figure a) he'd still be better than the McCain / Palin ticket for the US; and b) having no PM would be better than having Mr. Bown here in the UK. Win, win huh?

judith ellis said...

What a "win, win" scenario you have presented for the UK and the US, Mark. There seems to be discontent of leaders worldwide. What does this say for leadership globally? Have our expectations of leadership been considerably lowered? If so, in what way? I fear that ethics and morality in how we do business and how we live our lives daily perhaps need to be considered.

- A - C - said...

Oh, should you be short of old, qualified leaders, you may freely plunge into the seemingly never ending source of mummies in the Italian parliament...


John O'Leary said...

This is a jaundiced interpretation of the last day's events, but some believe McCain has threatened to cancel the presidential debate tonight and help resolve the financial crisis MAINLY to distract from the publicity meltdown that Palin is suffering as she begins to talks to reporters and people see how poorly qualified she is for national office.

Having said this, I actually feel badly for her because it was McCain's idea (or his aides' idea) to draft her. She wasn't lobbying for the job. She was doing a relatively decent job as a former small town mayor managing an already successful state economy. Then McCain sweeps her off her feet and she becomes a deer in the headlights in front of a national media. Yes, she could have said no, but what public servant would say, "No, I'm not interested in being a Vice President." So I'm not really blaming her. If she were running a local non profit organization or hospital, for instance - where her extreme political stands were not a threat - I'd probably support her. She seems well intended. Hell, some of my closest friends and family members have nuttier religious and political views than she has. I have friends on the Left who still think Cheney orchestrated 911 and friends on the Right who are expecting Jesus to pan fry these godless politicians in the coming Apocalypse. I still love all of 'em.

judith ellis said...

-a-c-, Mumification is death. Stupification is ignorance. Both are the antithesis of progression.

judith ellis said...

Yes, John, "what the world needs now is love sweet love. That's the only thing that there's much there much too little of."

Regarding Palin, there is a miniscule amount of sympathy that I have for her, although she's quite painful to watch. I have written here on this site that she was being paraded around by misigonistic men who used her as a ploy.

Palin could and should have said, "thank you but not thanks. I am not prepared." Instead, she seemingly believed in her notion of end-time prophecy, saying in that infamous Gibson interview that Obama was kicking himself right about now for not having chosen Clinton on the basis of her pick. She really seemed both arrogant and ignorant of her lack of pregaredness.

Palin was also aided by a leftist lesbian (no offense) feminist liberal (Camille Paglia) who praised her speech at the Democratic convention as one of the best she had ever heard. She even gushed about being envious that the Republicans, not her fellow Democratics, had her as one of them. I wanted to barf! REALLY!

I have lost a tremendous amount of respect for Paglia for the incredibly ridiculous statments she has made regarding this nominee. As a college student I had thought of her as a towering intellectual and a feminist to be reckoned with. I written pieces here of my discontent with both Paglia and Palin.

wmmbb said...

I blame McCain, who should have known better and had more consideration.

What Sarah Palin is now enduring is not something you could not wish on anybody.

judith ellis said...

wmmbb - Your comment seems a bit sexist to me. Would you say that you would blame Obama, if Biden turned out to be a complete airhead? But I guess I can understand the blame from a judgement standpoint. This selection was clearly a political one. I have been ranting about the apparent misogynistic Republican male establishment parading Palin around with her approval. Women of substance would never be so inclined to such pageantry, especially in the office she could some day hold. I'm ticked!

wmmbb said...

No Judith it was not sexist. It applies equally to any person who is not prepared for the glare of publicity and intensity of scrutiny.There have been people elected to parliament in Queensland from a minor party, and in one case committed suicide.

Joe Biden is not comparable. He is a long time Senator and has run for President. As a Chairman of a Senate Committee, he might be expected to versed in some areas of public policy.

Hillary Clinton, for example, embroidered her Bosnia landing under fire, and then performed well at the DNC. As we know, she is extremely well versed in policy matters.

I like the idea of ordinary people been elected to public office, but I think it foolish to consider the pressures associated with the role, and by implication the support they need. I don't know the truth of it, but I read that the people around McCain have given up on Palin.

judith ellis said...

wmmbb - OK. I take you, especially you, at your word. I have been impressed with much of what you've written and the honesty you seem to possess.

I too like the idea of ordinary people bringing change. But being ordinary is not inherently dishonest, misinformed, unintelligent, or arrogant. While I understand the necessity of being prepared for the theater of politics, if Palin's answers were intelligent and coherent much would be forgiven. Fumbling is not the problem here. Ignorance is. The deer that is caught in the headlight is without doubt not the brightest or most informed about an array of issues. This is the blinding glare.

Practice makes better, but I am not sure if many years of practice will prepare her for such an office. She seems to be unable to think on her feet. There is also a religious arrogant naivete that is alarming.

Many of those in the bible who wee with Christ, namely his disciples, were ordinary men. Most were skilled tradesmen. But they were with the Master. McCain is not such a one. I would also doubt it if Palin's response would be much better simply based on how she thinks. I can't see her as the president. We have a role to play here in our own enligthenment and hers appears to be far too limied for such an office. I have said here that I love my plumber, but she should not be president.

I would vote for a Fannie Lou Hammer over a Palin any day. Now, there's an ordinary citizen who was a smart savvy fearless compassionate leader who makes me proud.

judith ellis said...

From a pressure standpoint, I understand even greater your comment. I would hope that no one else would feel such pressure to do harm to themselves ever again. I'm sure that there were other issues to be considered as well. But I feel you and empathise with your words as it relates to Palin. Thank you.