HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Former Surgeon General Critiques Bush Interference

Reuters reports that  the former Surgeon General, Dr. Richard Carmona, discussed his tenure as surgeon general from 2002-2006 by noting that, "Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried."  Dr. Carmona was testifying  in front of the House of Representatives' Oversight and Government Reform committee.  He further stated,    

"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," Carmona added.   

Carmona said Bush administration political appointees censored his speeches and kept him from talking out publicly about certain issues, including the science on embryonic stem cell research, contraceptives and his misgivings about the administration's embrace of "abstinence-only" sex education. . . .       

"Political interference with the work of the surgeon general appears to have reached a new level in this administration," said Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to which Carmona testified.

ThinkProgress has more as well as some video of Dr. Carmon's testimony.

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