Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ideology kills -- politics and healthcare

The Bush administration's former surgeon general testified on Capitol Hill, today:

"Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried, . . . The problem with this approach is that in public health, as in a democracy, there is nothing worse than ignoring science, or marginalizing the voice of science for reasons driven by changing political winds. The job of surgeon general is to be the doctor of the nation, not the doctor of a political party."

Dr. Richard Carmona, who served as the surgeon genera from 2002 until 2006, was testifying before a House of Representatives committee. Carmona said that he was muzzled from speaking from a scientific point of view on such life-and-death issues as AIDS prevention and stem cell research.

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