February 23, 2012
A lie unchallenged becomes the truth. While I admire GOP candidate Rick Santorum’s decision to raise a special needs child, I certainly wish he would keep his political agendas out of my exam room. Yes, it takes love and courage to raise a child with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder that’s associated with severe physical and mental challenges. However, this does not make Santorum an expert on prenatal tests and to say anything to the contrary, is both reckless and immoral.
Prenatal tests, especially those that tests for chromosomal abnormalities, are optional. A woman can decline the tests if she chooses to do so and I’ve had patients who have exercised that perogative in the past. But first, let me tell you why these genetic tests are so important. If a woman discovers that she has a baby with Trisomy 21, commonly known as Down’s syndrome, both she and her pediatrician will have time to prepare for possible complications. Many genetic disorders are associated with heart conditions and require immediate surgery after birth. There are instances where the baby is born with a pediatric cardiologist in the delivery room who then whisks the baby away to have a life-saving cardiac procedure. This cannot happen if you don’t have the prenatal test.
In my 25-year career as a physician, I’ve only had 2 confirmed cases of Trisomy 21 and both mothers decided to keep their pregnancies. However, please be aware that there are some genetic disorders that are incompatible with life and the baby expires shortly birth. Most mothers do not want to experience that type of emotional trauma.
Mr. Santorum, please stop using Women’s Health as a stepping stone to gain entrance into the White House. If you can’t campaign for President based on truth and merit, then perhaps you’re not cut out for the job.
March 20, 2010
The Russians have a saying: “One who sits between two chairs may easily fall down.” Representative Kosmas, as a constituent in your 24th Congressional District and as a public health physician, thank you for having the courage to vote for healthcare reform. I know this was a difficult journey and that your professional career is on the line. However by voting for healthcare reform, you will be remembered in history as a pioneer who gave the American people a beacon of light and returned the “care” back in healthcare.
The healthcare bill is not perfect, I actually cried when I first read it. As a physician, I have witnessed the devastation that insurance dynasties have created by placing profit before people and billing codes before treatment. They thought they could marginalize physicians and nurses by referring to us as “providers.” They ignored our years of expertise and training. They annihilated the profession of medicine.
I know that the pharmaceutical and insurance lobbyists were bombarding you with temptation that would have been easy to deposit into the bank of future favors. However as a very wise man once said “What good does it profit a person to gain the whole world but forfeit his soul?”
Tomorrow, you will cast your vote and change the course of history. You have pushed through your fears and stepped into greatness. As your constituent, please rest assured that I will have your back. You have earned both my trust and my vote in the next election. I will knock on doors for you. I will volunteer for you. I will be there for you in your time of celebration but also in your time of need. You are now the crown jewel of my congressional district. May God continue to bless you.