23 March 2005

Dean criticizes GOP's political motives ... finally!

Two days ago and throughout the previous week, I have written that Howard Dean has been surprisingly silent during the Schiavo situation. I am pleased to report that Dr. Dean has finally broken his silence.

As reported by the Associated Press, Dr. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, criticized Senate Republican leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee), Congressman Dave Weldon (R-Florida), and other GOP physicians in the Congress, who have offered their medical opinions and diagnosed Terri Schiavo by only watching limited footage from a videotape.

Last Thursday, Senator Frist declared, "I question it [Terri's diagnosis] based on a review of the video footage ... And that footage, to me, depicted something very different than persistent vegetative state." Frist's comments were echoed by Congressman Weldon who said, "By my medical definition, she was not in a vegetative state based on my review of the videos, my talking to the family, and my discussing the case with one of the neurologists who examined her." Both Frist and Weldon are medical doctors.

"For Senator Frist to say he could make a diagnosis based on the videotape certainly is not medically sound," declared Dean. "I would not want my doctor making any diagnosis of me on videotape, and I'm speaking as a doctor." Dean also stated, "This is a deeply personal matter and ought to be left up to physicians."

Dean's comments were echoed by Arthur Caplan, chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "It's disturbing that doctors who would never venture a comment about the health of anybody from a homemade video are sitting on the floor of Congress making declarations." Caplan continued, "My own impression, from a distance, is that they've subverted what they know to be good medicine for the aim of achieving a political goal."

Another doctor in Congress, Representative Phil Gingrey (R-Georgia) made a diagnosis similar to Frist and Weldon. "The tragedy of this situation is that with proper treatment, now denied, Terri's condition can improve." Gingrey's diagnosis conflicts with those found credible by the courts that have reviewed the Schiavo case for the past seven years.

Of course, the national press has revealed that the GOP's motives behind this tragic issue are simply political. This is sad, and more people should say so. The Democratic Party, which has always stood for liberty, should proudly and loudly stand up for the rights of Americans to keep the government out of our end of life decisions. I applaud Chairman Dean for his patriotic remarks on behalf of all Americans and their freedom.


Anonymous tdog said...

Can't we go after Weldon's medical license for improperly practicing medicine? He should be punished for what he has done.

2:33:00 PM  
Blogger American On Line said...

Weldon is a simpleton. Everyone knows that.

However, in Florida, most of the judges, medical examiners, adminstrative boards, etc., have all been Jebized with followers. Nobody is going after anybody.

5:08:00 PM  

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