Medicine, health and politicians, by Alejandro Vázquez Cárdenas

Health problems and their management are something that basically concerns the patient and the medical professional who cares for him, there is no discussion about that. To regulate and preserve the relationship between the two, there is what has been called professional medical secrecy, which consists in the fact that the doctor must respect the privacy of the patient and take all the necessary measures to prevent the disclosure of any information obtained in the exercise of your profession. This is not just an ethical principle, but it is included in most of the world’s legislation, the violation of which can lead to legal consequences.

The foregoing is easily understood: since illness is an event of an intimate and very personal nature, I imagine that no one would find it pleasant to know that their medical history could be known by half the world. No one need know that manager “X” has hemorrhoids, or that department head “Z” has stress urinary incontinence and must wear a diaper. Much less should diseases that have a negative charge be aired publicly, such as a venereal disease or if one suffers from the highly stigmatizing AIDS.

But like everything in this life, we find that almost any topic that we analyze has several edges. It turns out that humans do not live alone, but rather interact in a highly mobile society. Therefore, what we do or do not do will affect a certain group of people. It is within this line of reasoning that the concern to legislate something that initially sounds uncomfortable has arisen for a long time: knowing in depth the state of health of a politician who aspires to command a country. Historical support for this petition exists. There are examples of medical situations that affected the destiny of countries when the degree of illness of a candidate or an acting president was not known. Let us remember some: Mitterrand’s prostate cancer, diagnosed in 1981, at the beginning of his first term, was hidden until 1991, when he was halfway through his second term and by then the president’s health conditions were frankly bad.

Among other relevant cases, we had, in 1982, the death of the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, which allowed the rise to power of Yuri Andropov, who only three months after taking office had to undergo a urological operation, due to what happened in the hospital half of the 15 months he was in power. Upon his death in February 1984, he was succeeded by Konstantin Chernenko, who was elected despite medical advice, and who lasted only a year and a month, which allowed the reformist Mikhail Gorbachev to come to power, with the consequences stories we already know.

In Latin America we have the case of the Ecuadorian Abdalá Bucaram, nicknamed Crazydeposed from the presidency in February 1997. He had taken office just six months earlier, but a resolution of his country’s Congress declared him “mentally incapable of governing.”


In Mexico, during the six-year term of Vicente Fox, the then Senator Dulce María Sauri, on her behalf and other PRI senators, presented an initiative to reform the law in order to know the state of health of various figures in public life, specifically the President of the Republic and all those who have control in unipersonal structures.

This initiative was addressed due to suspicions of the use of a popular antidepressant by President Vicente Fox, but also anticipating an eventual triumph of Mr. López Obrador, a character who since then was singled out as someone who suffers from a dangerous personality disorder.

The scenario was complicated by the arrival to the presidency of Mr. López Obrador: with his victory the most negative characteristics of his personality were uncovered, such as authoritarianism, obstinacy, inability to recognize mistakes and, above all, a marked vindictive desire, aspects that they are aggravated by their lack of culture, their poor understanding of economic dynamics and a vision of national problems that would correspond to that of a primary school child.

It is public and known that the C. President has a long-standing hypertensive heart disease and a coronary artery disease that has already sent him to a hospital urgently on at least a couple of occasions, one of them with an admitted diagnosis of myocardial infarction. In case something is missing, he adds the suspicion of neurological vascular damage, evidenced by his slow, fanciful thinking, which is not modified by any reasoning and is accompanied by failures in diction.

The request to know the state of health of López Obrador is not new and comes from multiple sources. It is imperative to know the state of physical and mental health of the citizen president.

For the good of all.

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