Sunday, September 14, 2008

Electing Obama: Why Won't John McCain Release His Health Records?

Obama or Else postcard by Liza Cowan

Electing Obama: Why Won't John McCain Release His Health Records?

Here is today's suggestion for what you can do directly to help with the fulfilling work of electing Barack Obama as our next President. With statistics revealing there is a 1 in 3 chance of an elected President not being able to serve his full term in office, the question of any Vice President's fitness for the job becomes an object of focus, and particularly with the wildly unfit Sarah Palin in the running.

John McCain has had every kind of skin cancer diagnosis that can be made, including more than one occurrence of malignant melanoma, deep and Stage II. He smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for 25 years. His diagnoses include high cholesterol, hypertension, arthritis, vertigo, and allergies. He is currently on six different medications daily for these plus his kidneys, and he takes Ambien occasionally which has a known incidence of correlation with impaired concentration, amnesia, and mental dysfunction.

But it is the melanoma which is most concerning, because not only is the chance of recurrence in his instance more than 60%, should it recur while he is in office, the treatment for it would necessarily incapacitate him from serving as President.

As a disabled person and an advocate against ageism, I assure you that assessing the risk of ability with regard to particular jobs is not discrimination and is not oppressive, if the demands of that job are relevant to human capacity. For instance, when I fly on a plane I specifically ask to not be seated in the emergency exit row, because I have mobility impairments which would make it difficult or impossible for me to move quickly or assist others: I would be a risk to others on that flight if I blocked the exit. McCain's refusal to acknowledge his responsibility with regard to openly sharing his health, whatever it may be, is evident and is ominous.

The following letter arrived in my mailbox today from Robert Greenwald at Brave New Films, and I'll reprint it as I received it:

"The state of John McCain's health is an issue of grave concern for all Americans, regardless of political persuasion. Given the fact that he has been treated for an invasive melanoma and other maladies, it is important that he release his full health records.

For a very brief three hours in May, McCain released 1,173 pages of his medical records to a carefully selected group of reporters. They were not allowed to make any copies or phone calls. Why such secrecy?

We have enlisted a group of doctors from around the country to lead the effort to make sure the public is able to see and make judgments for themselves. Secrecy is not of service to our democracy, transparency is. Please have other doctors sign the open letter.

Watch the video and sign the open letter.

Cancer is a serious issue. That's why 30 medical doctors have already signed our open letter telling McCain to issue a full, public disclosure of all his medical records. Send this video far and wide to request that McCain release his full health records. Ask every medical doctor you know to sign onto the letter, and don't forget to sign the letter yourself! McCain's records must be made public and soon.

While McCain doesn't really care about our health care, we all should care about the health of McCain.

Robert Greenwald
and everyone at Brave New Films"

After you sign the petition, please consider writing your friends and family about this issue, sending them a link to the video and asking them to voice their opinion. Since one out of five Americans has a disability, and more than that have ongoing health issues, we are all well-acquainted with the decisions necessary to navigate in our community as a responsible adult. I am certain that the majority of Americans believe they have the right to know about ALL the health issues of a prospective President.

The postcard graphic at the head of this post was designed and printed by Liza Cowan. She's already given away or mailed out a thousand of them, and she's extending an offer to the readers of Group News Blog: Send her a self-addressed stamped envelope with postage of 59 cents on it, and she'll mail you ten of these postcards for your own use. The addy is Pine Street Art Works, 404 Pine Street, Burlington, VT 05401. Or, if you or your organization wants more, e-mail her at Liza(at)pinestreetartworks(dot)com. If you use this graphic elsewhere, please be sure to give her copyright credit and link to her blog.