Thursday, March 24, 2005
Remember, Frist, a heart transplant surgeon, rose on the floor of the Senate and:
1. Announced that he was "speaking more as a physician than as a United States Senator."What's more, as Howard Markel reminds us in a subscription-only article at The New Republic site:
2. Cautioned that the persistent vegetative state diagnosis, "is a very difficult diagnosis to make."
3. Proceeded to question that diagnosis, in the Schiavo case, on the basis of his review of video footage which (as far as I've been able to discern) is several years old.
Long-distance doctoring is problematic on many levels but especially for a doctor who has not practiced much medicine for more than a decade. Plus, there is the fact that even when Frist did see patients on a daily basis, he practiced as a heart transplant surgeon. Which means that most of his clinical work was done with anesthetized patients on an operating table.Can a man who is willing to prostitute his medical credentials in this way be trusted about anything?