When University of KentuckyÂ Dr. James Holsinger was announced as the Presidential nominee for the job of US Surgeon General in May, it wasn’t long before a paper he had written for the United Methodist Church became major talk in the US.
Ideological lines were firmly established. The factÂ ”Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality”Â wasÂ medically shoddy to almost irrelevanceÂ was irrelevant to those who needed to pontificate about persecution against Christians.
The interesting thing about ideological lies, is they must contain just enough of a grain of truth to be swallowed. And that is what happened. Do a search for Holsinger and you’ll see howling and rage coming from various sections of the US religious right about the homosexual agenda and Christian persecution. There is equal howlingÂ and anger coming fromÂ the left.Â
Objections about Holsinger’s appointmentÂ from The American Public Health AssociationÂ hadÂ little effect onÂ public discourse. He was endorsed by The College of Physicians. They might want to take a look at what Weaver andÂ McGaughey have uncovered and rethink their endorsement.
The initial revelationÂ wasn’t aboutÂ persecution, it wasÂ about sub-standard medical writing. It doesn’t require a research degree toÂ read his paper and figure it out.Â Box Turtle Bulletin looks at the footnotes, the science and goes through it in lay terms.
Dr. James Holsinger Jr.’sÂ appearance before a congressional sub-committee regarding management of VA hospitals was barely noticed by the public.
Now more has come to light about why many people believeÂ this man is not fit to be “America’s Doctor,” the next Surgeon General of the United States.
This is a public position, with oversight of a department of five thousand people. It is an honourable job, a job of trust. Holsinger, while acting with no doubt utterly sincere conviction within his roles in the United Methodist Church, has done a great deal of damage and cost his denomination millions of dollars.
Holsingers long time involvement with the nefarious IRD (Institute of Religion and Democracy) is no secret. He sat on their board. He has been a point man for this group within the United Methodist Church for years.
Now it has been discovered that that Holsinger stepped down in a bitter and protracted lawsuit regarding the sale ofÂ The Good Samaritan Hospital in Kentucky.Â
It wasn’t until a few days after the announcement of his nomination that Holsinger stepped awayÂ and the lawsuit abruptly ceased.Â Dr. Andrew Weaver and Lawrence H. McGaughey followed the money. Milking a church cash cow:
What might have motivated Holsinger to be part of long, costly litigation against his own church? Following the money offers insight. From July 1, 1997, through June 30, 2006, the GSF and a corporate subsidiary dispersed $8,430,363 in grants, of which $5,317,070 (63 percent) was given to the University of Kentucky (UK) programs in medicine, nursing, dentistry and public health (GuideStar, 2007).
This included endowing two academic chairs valued at a million dollars each — one in nursing and the other in public health (Bucks for Brains, 2006). These endowed chairs and several million dollars in other grants were awarded while Holsinger was promoting the UK and seeking funds for these programs in his job as Chancellor of the Chandler Medical Center at UK from 1994 through 2003 (Personal Communication, 2007b). It continued while he was a GSF trustee from July 2000 through May 2007. The GSF’s gifts to UK medical and its related schools have been so significant that the foundation is in elite company on the “presidential honor roll of donors,” along with major corporations such as Alcoa, DuPont, IBM, and the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company (UK, 2007).
One of Holsinger’s line of defence in his nominationÂ appearance before the senateÂ Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions was personal testimonials about what a great even handedÂ guy he was.
Propagandists can be as charming as the next guy, and even handed when it suits their purpose. The questions theÂ committeeÂ has to look at were his medical and administrative qualifications for office andÂ his ability to carry out those responsibilitiesÂ ethically and in a none partisan fashion.
This latest offering by Weaver and McGaughey about Dr. James HolsingerÂ should give any member of the United Methodist Church veryÂ serious pause. It should give members of the public serious pause.
I’ve no doubtÂ their compliation and background researchÂ will be passed to the senate committee, who already know aboutÂ Holsinger’s VA record andÂ his ‘medical’ paper that garnered all the initial noise.Â
No one is in a hurry to name a newÂ Surgeon General, it is an appointment that lastsÂ four years, and it is likely the committeÂ vote will take place in September.Â Â
There are a thousand more immently qualified medical professionals able to fulfil the responsibility of the office.Â
There are a thousand more qualified medical professionals that haven’tÂ put out false and shoddy papers. There areÂ a thousand moreÂ ethical,Â qualified medical personal that have not costÂ their churchÂ denominion millions; used trust fund moneyÂ to establish their standing in their state.