As the presidential elections draw closer, it becomes more apparent that the upcoming debates are gong to be very very important. One of the questions that desperately needs to be leveled at McCain is why he has not released his entire health records for scrutiny. Here's what some physicians have to say:
It is standard practice for the people of the United States to be kept informed of the President's state of health. It is even more important that we citizens be made fully aware of the health and health risks of our potential Presidents. John McCain has had more than one melanoma, a particularly lethal cancer. That statement that his cancer is "in remission" does not equate with cure. Melanoma can be undetectable and "in remission" for a dozen years and then recur. - Nancy V. Bruckner, MD
It is inconceivable that America would vote on who will be their next president without complete disclosure of every detail of the health care that each candidate has undergone. With one of the candidates having had a very serious form of cancer and being 72 years of age, the American people need to be reassured that their decisions at the poll are being made with all available information. - David R. Meldrum, MD
Transparency as far as medical history is concerned is essential for those running for public office. The public deserves that. It is a prerequisite for being in office. - Robert Buxbaum, MD
I have to release my medical records to get insurance, to get hospital privileges and for things of far lesser import than seeking the presidency of this country. Unless Mr. McCain has something to hide, he should release his records. If he refuses to release the records, then the assumption must be that he is, indeed, hiding something. - Gerald F. Cambria, MD
I am a registered Republican. As a dermatologist with over 20 years of experience, I would have to believe that there is a very significant probability that McCain will die of his melanoma, probably within the next few years. As I understand it, his first episode was in 1992, and he has had a total of 4 melanomas, one of which was deep enough to require a lymph node dissection. My experience has been that patients whose immune system clearly does not fight off melanoma (I've never had any patient who had more than 2 once we began observing them closely with consistent skin checks, as I know McCain gets), and eventually die of their melanoma, especially when it has been on the head or neck. Everything may seem to be fine for 5-10 years, then all of a sudden all the micrometastases reach critical mass, and there are lesions in the brain, bone and lungs - and the person is dead within three months. - Laura E. Skellchock, MD
Americans should know what they are "getting into" if Sarah Palin becomes president by default. Here's what REPUBLICAN senator Chuck Hagel has to say:
Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel says it's a 'stretch' to call Palin qualified to be president
WASHINGTON - Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel said his party's vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, lacks foreign policy experience and called it a "stretch" to say she's qualified to be president.
"She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials," Hagel said in an interview published Thursday by the Omaha World-Herald. "You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don't know what you can say. You can't say anything."
Could Palin lead the country if GOP presidential nominee John McCain could not?
"I think it's a stretch to, in any way, to say that she's got the experience to be president of the United States," Hagel said.
McCain and other Republicans have defended Palin's qualifications, citing Alaska's proximity to Russia. Palin told ABC News, "They're our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."
Hagel took issue with that argument. "I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, 'I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia,'" he said. "That kind of thing is insulting to the American people."
Hagel, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been a vocal critic of the Bush administration since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In July, Hagel traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Though he didn't expect to be asked, Hagel had said he would have considered serving as Obama's running mate.
Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, population 6,500, before becoming Alaska's governor in December 2006.
Palin visited soldiers in Kuwait and Germany last year and said in an interview with ABC News that her only other foreign travel had been to Mexico and Canada. She also said she had never met a foreign head of state.