When Private Medical Records Become Public…

Medical personnel take doctor-patient confidentiality seriously and will not reveal a person’s medical details to the public without the individual’s consent or without a  court order. But this does not seem to be the norm when you are a US presidential nominee!  Obama, McCain, Biden and Palin have all been asked to release their medical records for public scrutiny. The American public (including doctors,too!) are demanding that the candidates bare all their past medical records.  In fact, more than 2,700 doctors in the US have petitioned that McCain release the documents to the public domain.

Obama - clean medical history enough to see him through next week?

Why? Because, ostensibly, the public want to know whether the new President (and Vice-President, who will have to step in should anything befall the nation’s chief executive) is fit enough to fulfil the voters’ mandate to run the nation. The electorate want reassurance that the nominees can fulfil the requirements of holding the highest office; so, the nominees need to sacrifice quite a bit of their privacy, as far as their medical records are concerned. The voters need to make an informed choice based on these records, say a spokeman for the petitioners. So have the 4 nominees obliged? Most of them have, except for Sarah Palin. Take a look at what has been released:

McCain - the scar on his left cheek, a remnant of the surgery for melanoma in 2000.(courtesy of NY Times)

John McCain,72 : has hypertension (currently on hydrochlorothiazide), high cholesterol(on simvastatin), allergies(Zyrtec),sleep problems (zolpidem) and takes aspirin as a blood-thinner. Of most concern, though is his past bouts of malignant melanoma,a form of skin cancer which was diagnosed as stage 2 in 2000 and carries a 66% recurrence rate.

Barack Obama,47: released the results of his medical check-ups up till Jan 2007 which were all normal. A smoker for the last 20 years but stopped last year.

Sarah Palin,44: has not released medical records so far. Has a child with Down’s syndrome.

Joseph Biden,65: has had brain surgery twice for aneurysms in an artery of the brain. Released 49 pages of his medical records to the Press recently showing he was healthy.

Read my recent entry “Obama’s Fitness To Rule” here.

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One response

  1. It’s actually quite a good idea as we do not want a leader laden with health problems leading the country, do we?

    Those with serious health problems would be more of a liability to the country and would not be able to function at maximum capacity required of him or her.

    Doctor2008 says: Looks like the benchmark for future leaders of countries is being set by the US. Full disclosure of assets & liabilities, income tax returns as well as health status, to name a few.

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