Thursday, July 12, 2007

Surgeon General Says He Was Stifled by Bush Politics

Earlier this week, former surgeon general Richard Carmona testified before a House committee that he was often muzzled by the Bush Administration on issues such as stem cell research, emergency contraception and sex education because the science did not align with the political views of the White House.

This development is disheartening to the Republican Party and raises a red flag about the direction our nation is headed in. USA Today noted that President Reagan backed his surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, for seven years despite calls from aides to let him go. Koop was active in pursuing scientific policies to increase the health and safety of Americans such as promoting contraqception along with abstinence and making public the negative side effects of smoking.

It is extremely unfortunate that politics seems to have trumped science in the Carmona case. While millions of Americans suffer through disease without the hope of stem cell research, access to emergency contraception is stifled and schools provide inadequate sex education, it is revealed that these policies are politcal and not based on any science.

2 comments:

Lauren said...

It is truly disheartening that politics and ideology trump science. The job of the surgeon general is to educate the public on matters of public health, not to have his or her findings on important health issues like abstinence, EC and contraception stifled because they aren't in agreement with the ideology espoused by the administration. This is not reflective of the majority of Republicans who believe that political ideologies should not trump science and that Americans deserve to have correct and comprehensive information about their health from the surgeon general, not information that is filtered through an ideological lense.

Elizabeth said...

Absolutely. Americans definitely deserve to have clear, accurate and comprehensive information about their health from the surgeon general and not filtered information because of a political or ideological perspective. It's sad that this has happened but on the other hand the vast majority of Republicans support accurate and comprehensive healthcare information to be disceminated so hopefully the next surgeon general will be more in line with this.