Thursday, October 23, 2008

Candidates curiously reticent on medical records

It is really a strange development in this election. After years of candidates being progressively more open about their medical histories -- in part in response to the fact that the public knew nothing about JFK's Addison's Disease or Tom Eagleton's, McGovern's first veep choice, history of treatment for depression -- the major-party candidates have been curiously reluctant on this subject this year.

As this Register editorial outlines, based on various news reports, John McCain, who has survived both torture and melanoma, allowed some pool reporters to look over 1,200 pages of medical records for three hours, but not to make copies or take notes. Joe Biden had emergency surgery for a brain aneurysm in 1988, and he released some info, but nothing on whether he had recently had neurologicalo tests. Obama at first released a single-page lettter from a doctor saying he was in excellent health but no details, and finally, under pressure, results of some routine lab tests. Sarah Palin has released nothing, and although she said she would in her interview with Briabn Williams, it apparently took the campaign completely by surprise.

Is wanting such information an invasion of privacy? These people are seeking positions of awesome (even excessive) power over the rest of us. Knowing whether they're likely to keel over under stress is the least we should expect.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Obama’s last medical checkup was on January 15, 2007; he had no complaints. He exercised regularly often jogging three miles. His diet was balanced with good intake of roughage and fluids.