Senator Ted Kennedy's Kidney Stone
"Senator Edward M. Kennedy had just left a hospital bed here when he delivered his speech to the Democratic National Convention on Monday night, after suffering a debilitating bout of kidney stones Sunday upon arriving in town, aides said.
His aides said that after Mr. Kennedy finally decided he was well enough to come to Denver over the weekend, they became alarmed when he arrived on Sunday after a long charter airplane flight, accompanied by family members, aides and doctors, and reported being in excruciating pain.
Their first concern was that the pain was somehow related to his cancer, or the chemotherapy and radiology he had undergone, and that it had been complicated by the long flight or the high altitude of the city. A visit to a local hospital Sunday night revealed it was kidney stones and was unrelated to his cancer.
Mr. Kennedy had no previous history of kidney stones, aides said."
Here's the part that interested me:
"And with less than two hours to go before he was supposed to take the stage, Mr. Kennedy — sitting unnoticed in a room at the University of Colorado Hospital — told his wife, Victoria, and doctors that he wanted to go to the Pepsi Center and deliver the speech.
He was driven there, accompanied by a doctor and paramedics, perched on a golf cart that took him inside. Mr. Kennedy, with his wife and his niece Caroline at his side, walked gingerly onto the stage, where he delivered a highly acclaimed address. Once done speaking, he returned to the Denver hospital, where he spent the night."
Props to the ER docs in Colorado for that probably stressful VIP workup. Good thing Senator Kennedy doesn't have to rely on Medicare, because the CMS certainly wouldn't have paid for the physician/paramedic escorts to the convention. I also wonder if they made him sign out AMA and then check back into the hospital. Probably not.
Regarding his speech, if he really believes that healthcare in America should be "a fundamental right for all" then I wonder how he reconciles that belief with the fundamental rights of physicians and other healthcare professionals? True rights do not require the labor of others.
Do those of us who chose healthcare as a profession have a "fundamental right" to join him on his sailboat and maybe have a little chowder afterwards? I don't drink scotch, but I'd enjoy claiming my "fundamental right" to a couple of brewskis from his cooler.