Cancer, disclosure,fitness to lead

October 20, 2008 at 11:24 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

Caveat: I’m no McCain supporter.

Caveat II: For any job tha’s less than running a country, I strongly believe disclosure of medical problems should be voluntary. If one’s doctor makes it perfectly clear that one can perform certain job duties with the condition, then the condition should be immaterial to whether or not a job is conferred. I’ve seen firsthand that even a voluntary disclosure can have emotionally disastrous results for an employee and for those who chose him.

This is no ordinary job.  (FWIW I would have liked to have seen more on Obama’s and Palin’s health too,  Biden has been fairly detailed about it…)

You have to pick people to run the Army, Navy and Air Force and give the final word on their deployments.

You have to keep long hours. It’s your responsibility to make sure you sleep when you can, eat correctly as far as possible, get some excersize in, because it’s your responsibility to stay fine tuned enough to do the job the voters select you to do.

Side effects of any medicine you take must impair judgement as little as possible to maintain health, because nobody wants the American President less than clearheaded, medically speaking.

You have to have a hand in reinventing health care and energy policy.

You have to pick people to assist with Cabinet posts…handle an economy that’s acting bipolar.

You have to ‘handle’ the Congress to some extent. (a bagful of angry cats comes to mind.)

You have to project calm competency and civility to people you don’t like 23 out of 24 hours a day, (I would hope that some moderately private bitching in the West Wing at the end of the day is tolerated, ’cause even the nicest Commander in Chief would not be healthy in his/her head if they didn’t have a moment to let loose) travel long hours to meet with foreign leaders, many of whom irritate you to no end, and some you’d rather spit at than talk to.

It would have been beyond me, even in the later half of my chemotherapy when I had returned to work, to have handled any of the above in a competent manner let alone all of them.

In and of itself that says nothing about McCain’s ability to handle the workload if another melanoma should appear.

(and for him, after freakin’ *torture* … Cancer in and of itself would be much less daunting, I expect.)

(Oh, and one line in the Times article *does* peeve me off. During his imprisonment after some particularly severe beatings, he did attempt suicide, so they raise concerns about why he’s never been diagnosed with any mental disorder.)


If you’re being *tortured* it makes perfect sense that at one point you might try and end your life.  No need for underqualified underpaid therapists to talktherapy you into anything, no need for meds *only* on that basis.  If afterwards you also have longterm PSTD, that co workers, family, friends, believe is impacting you in a way that means you cannot function, then *yes* supports are in order.

On balance though I believe Senator McCain is uniquely required to disclose his history and potential scenarios that might affect his ability to function, remove him from office due to significant impairment or lead to his death in the next eight years…

Because the younger, healthier half of the ticket…

Is in no way qualified to take over for him, *which* *would* *be* *her* *job!*

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