A cancer surgeon named Orac responds to my post calling McCain a 'crazy cancer-ridden dishonest madman'.
"Crazy cancer-ridden dishonest madman"? Nice. I wonder if Matt spit out the term "cancer-ridden" with the same amount of contempt and venom while typing as he did when he spit out the terms "crazy," "dishonest," and "madman." I wonder if he thinks "cancer-ridden" is just as bad an insult as the other terms.
As a cancer surgeon, I found that bit about "cancer-ridden madman" to be a truly despicable rhetorical gambit, not to mention irrelevant. John McCain had melanoma. He was successfully treated for it, and has been cancer-free for seven years, making the likelihood of a recurrence very small.
Here's the article that Orac links to but does not feature in his criticism.
But this time around, Mr. McCain has yet to make his full medical records or his physicians available to reporters. At least three times since March 2007, campaign officials have told The New York Times that they would provide the detailed information about his current state of health, but they have not done so.
And when he did let the media peek at his records, it was with strict security guidelines.
The newer batch of records has strict security guidelines attached. Only certain news networks and newspapers will be permitted to enter the room, and they will have only three hours to examine the papers.
No cell phones or Internet access will be allowed in the room, located in a resort outside Phoenix, Arizona. Copying the records is also prohibited.
Anyone who leaves the room for any reason except the bathroom will not be allowed back.
It is very likely that McCain has cancer or some other serious illness. There's no reason McCain wouldn't let reporters look at his records otherwise. McCain is 72 years old and he was a POW, a member of a group with high rates of illness due to ill-treatment on the part of their captors.
Cancer is relevant to the Presidency. Misleading the press about one's health is relevant to the Presidency. This is not just a dude looking for a job, he's going to have his hand on the nuclear trigger. Imminent death from a terminal disease kind of skews your perspective on this, you know what I'm saying?
Orac is not just wrong, he's misplacing his professional norms onto a political process fraught with bad faith. He's like all those scientists tut-tutting people to not jump to conclusions about whether this or that storm are directly related to climate change. He believes in his authority over the social context of medicine rather than recognizing that the public has a right to weigh in on the Presidential nominee. If the Presidential nominee has cancer I want to know about it. And if he's at risk for getting cancer, as he probably is, it's a problem.