Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-18 Sheryl Jedlinski
By Sheryl Jedlinski
Conservative pundits are fueling rumors that Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s disease, and is therefore unfit to be President. Their fairytale is based on a diagnosis made by a doctor who never even examined her. This is contrary to medical protocol, which holds that making an accurate diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease requires a neurological exam. At a minimum, I believe this doctor should have to answer to charges of unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine.
To the best of my knowledge, Congress has yet to approve a list of illnesses that disqualify someone from public office. Where would our country be today if Franklin Delano Roosevelt, paralyzed with polio and confined to a wheelchair, had not been allowed to lead the country to victory through the Great Depression and World War II?
Whether the rumors about Hillary Clinton’s health prove true or false, this issue is far bigger than she is; it affects every American and the future of our country. It goes to the heart of how people with chronic, debilitating conditions are treated in our culture, and whether or not their contributions can be circumscribed. Let this be a wake up call for the Parkinson’s community. Although we have already done much to build awareness of our disease, our work is far from over if others buy the lies they are being fed. I hope we can use the World Parkinson’s Congress in Portland as a starting point for this discussion. Laws that paint everyone with the same broad brush do a disservice to individuals and our country as a whole.
“No man is an island…” wrote John Donne. We are all members of a world-wide community, and everything we do affects not just us, but everyone else as well. “For whom is the bell tolling?” he asked. “It tolls for me, it tolls for thee, indeed, it tolls for us all.”