Readers Blog: Presidential health is a key concern

The comments about President Trump’s health, both physical and mental, are concerning and a lot of print space has been devoted to it and possible ramifications but little to the level of reporting.

There are many presidents with hidden illnesses, Franklin D Roosevelt with polio and John F Kennedy with Addison’s disease, and the probably undiagnosed, Ronald Reagan with Alzheimer’s disease.

A number of leaders in the US and other countries have either hidden or lied about frailties that would have kept them out of the job most likely.

Sadly there are also many apparently healthy who suddenly pass.

Doctors are subject to rules of privileged information and cannot generally be required to divulge patient information.

A permitted report could range from “in good health for their age” —basically still alive — through to “has some concerning health issues” — make sure they pay the account on the way out.

The more detailed the report, the more it can be interpreted with a blood pressure reading of 140/100 being high for most people although not as much for older people.

Any release of information will need detailed notes and explanations for the majority of readers.

Even if there are medical concerns — and the White House doctor says Trump is in “excellent” physical health — they probably won’t matter unless they are severe mental health issues which probably is not being assessed.

The complexities of trying to remove a ‘broken’ leader generally requires the support of both sides and this is not going to happen.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Box Hill

Vic Melbourne


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