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Posted: Jun 7 2007, 07:01 AM
Joined: 7-June 07
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There are some obvious issues with Mr. Speaker"s his families attepmt to explain his behavior. (1) Medicine is rarely as black and white as people would like to believe. A saliva test and a chest x-ray are used as a means of PREDICTING risk for transmission. Low risk does not mean NO risk and ignores the possibility of testing error (those of us in the medical/mathmatical world understand tests have sensativity and specificity which allows us to predict degree of error inherant to the test. Mr. Speaker"s "TB expert" father-in-law would presumably know this and should have factored this into the advice he gave his future son-in-law. Now based on the limited information that I have read; Mr. Speaker was advised not to travel by a physician. This was obviously not a "convienent" request based on Mr. Speakers plans. Given the inconvenience, Mr. Speaker likely chose to do what most 2 year olds do ... see if there is any way they could do what they want to do as opposed to what they are supposed to do. What pisses me off is the presence of his father (tape recorder in hand) pretty much bears this out. Another issue which has not been discussed is the fact that a chest xray and saliva test also do not address the risk of systemic/miliary TB which would change his transmission risk. Regardless, Mr. Speaker was instructed to seek further evaluation and medical care in Italy and chose instead to travel to Prague and then to Canada. His excuse for this decision was his "country" abandoned him to lesser care in Italy and he could not financially afford to charter a private jet to fly him back to the United States. Since the article points to Mr. Speaker"s love of making a concise point, I"ll make mine... Mr. Speaker chose to travel and in doing so jepardized not only his family but countless other people. When he was made aware of the severity of his disease he still chose to ignore advice and jepardized countless more people. I doing so he created an international incident and reinforced a popularly held notion outside the USA that americans are selfish, graceless, and misinformed. Quite frankly coucilor... you appology is contrived and the "spin" your family is feeding to the media is trying to absolve you of personal responsibility for your actions. Your country did"nt abandone you ... you disgraced your country and you continue to do so by not taking responsibilty for your actions.