John McCain Must Release His Medical Records

Our guest blogger is Dr. Clark Newhall, MD/JD of Salt Lake City, UT, one of over 2,700 doctors from around the country who signed an open letter calling on John McCain to release his medical records.

In a time of increasingly complex and difficult issues both here and abroad, it is imperative for Americans to know the health of the candidates. Yet John McCain has never released his full medical records and he has severely restricted the public’s ability to judge his health. When McCain publicly “disclosed” his medical history, what he really did was provide a carefully selected set of medical records (1,173 pages in all) to 20 carefully selected reporters who were allowed three hours to review that massive pile of paper. They were not allowed to make copies and not allowed to consult with medical experts during the review. With this kind of pseudo-review, it is certain that we cannot know much about McCain’s health.

What we do know is concerning: The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology reviewed the cancer taken off McCain’s head in 2000 and found it to be “highly suggestive of a metastasis of malignant melanoma and may represent a satellite metastasis.” Even with the most optimistic scenario, if McCain has a metastatic malignant melanoma, he has only a 38% chance of surviving past 2010.

McCain had a melanoma taken off his head in 2000 but he has had several other melanoma cancers removed before that. It is not difficult to believe that a previous melanoma could have been the metastasis to the temple that was removed in 2000. If John McCain has a recurrence of melanoma, the attendant surgery with the possibility of chemotherapy is likely to be debilitating.


For these reasons, it is imperative that Americans demand the full and unconditional release of John McCain’s medical records.