Blog | Monday, October 20, 2008

Looking into gaps in candidates' health records

New York Times columnist Lawrence K. Altman, MACP, has commented that the lack of medical information released by the presidential and vice presidential candidates concerns him greatly.

Sens. John McCain and Joe Biden have been treated for serious medical conditions(melanoma and brain aneurysm, respectively.) Sen. Barack Obama released a one-page letter about his excellent health (although he's having trouble quitting smoking) and Gov. Sarah Palin has not released any medical information. Dr. Altman covers their known ailments, and then muses on what hasn't been disclosed.

More concerning than the gaps, Dr. Altman writes, is the "retreat from the approach that most campaigns took over the last 10 elections" to fully disclose medical problems.

Other ACP members have shared their insights into how much presidents should disclose about their health. E. Connie Mariano, FACP, for nine years treated presidents and their families (and their pets; I guess there is no "First Vet"). She talked about her experiences at Internal Medicine 2008 and shared stories with ACP Internist here.