Sunday, October 11, 2020

Re-examing the 25th Amendment by Dr Ada M Fisher

When Should the President Step Aside ?

The presidency sits precariously not just in the hands of the people, but under the 25thAmendment may be deemed void if the Vice President and Cabinet feel he/she is unable to continue his/her duties. With the approval of the Speaker of the House or Senate Pro Tem, a vote may be taken to remove that person from office which may be subject to an appeal by the president. 

28thUS President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) is used as a comparison to Donald Trump in their handling of a pandemic from which both would become infected. Both showed signs of misreading the severity of the epidemic which may have led to the death of many in its wake. For Wilson, in the midst of developing strategic alliances abroad underlying his vision for a League of Nations, the Spanish Flu of 1918 was to fiercely strike him. Though he had a massive stroke in 1919, he was allowed to continue incapacitated in office until the end of his term reportedly allowing his wife, Edythe to rule in his place. Blaming the President’s judgment in both cases forgets to blame the virus for not telling us upfront all of its secrets which would allow better detection, treatment and prevention. 


Doing a bit of forensic pathology on these cases, one might theorize that Wilson’s stroke may have been a sequelae of the flu, just as the horrendous side effects of Covid-19 shows similar devastating side effects for many of its victims. One must worry given the known turn of events for President Trump’s course history, whether there are long term concerns which must be brought into play. Going two steps further, former Vice President Biden’s history of brain surgery and fumbling speech as well as major gaffe’s make one also a bit concerned with his presidential run. Maybe President James Carter is right about the possible compromised ability of people over 70 to steer the often muddy waters required of the office. 


The “worration” over the capacity of our candidates to serve is somewhat tempered by the constitutional process which has in place steps to address such issues.   

Troubling is the “all in” posture of too many to remove people or oust them without due process.  Is this concern real or seeking political advantage?  The impact of this on laws in other areas of personal life and conduct can be brought into question. If the rights of the President to privacy regarding health are to be compromised, what is to stop such from happening to patients with “non-essential” jobs and also diseases such as cancer, seizures or severe injuries from all types of mishaps? Under the American’s with Disabilities Act, the nation’s employers are not allowed to discriminate, especially if a reasonable accommodation can be offered.  


As one who did occupational health for over twenty years, it was troublesome when ones employers wanted access to personal health information for no matter what is said, such is used to affect employment prospects.  This was also an issue when employers were self-insured as are those who work for the government where their information is available. What those advocating universal health care don’t understand is that one gives up any semblance of privacy for this supposed benefit. 


Any good soldier, as should their Commander-In-Chief, understand that Duty, Honor and Valor demands that for the good of the nation, one should always put the nation first if one is compromised beyond one’s ability to effectively carry out one’s duty. 


Ada M. Fisher, MD, MPH is a former Medical Director in a Fortune 500 company, licensed teacher, retired physician, former county school board member, speaker, author of Common Sense Conservative Prescriptions Good for What Ails Us Book 1 (available through Amazon. Com) and was the NC Republican National Committeewoman (2008-2020).